Arthritis affects almost 15% of the people in India and its prevalence is higher than diabetes and cancer. The inflammation in the joints, caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can also cause lingering pain and make it difficult to live a normal life. While most doctors primarily treat the condition with anti-inflammatory medications, you can also try alternative treatments and lifestyle changes to alleviate the symptoms.
The following are 8 ways you can minimize pain and inflammation from arthritis:
There is a link between your body weight and arthritis inflammation. In fact, a report (NCBI) says that obesity is a critically important factor that affects the treatment and assessment of long-term risk among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. So, you can calculate your BMI to see if you are overweight and if yes then how overweight you are. Depending on the results, you can take appropriate measures to lose weight and control arthritis pain.
Heat improves blood circulation and loosens muscles and stiff joints. So, by using heating pads or air-activated heat patches on the affected areas, you can reduce the pain to a large extent.
One of the biggest mistakes that arthritis patients make is that they try to avoid physical exercise. While it’s easy to understand this behaviour as exercising can increase joint pain during physical exertion, the benefits of the same can’t be overlooked either.
The good news is that you don’t have to engage in challenging exercise routines. Just going through the basic activities like brisk walking, stretching, aerobics, etc. is enough to keep you healthy and reduce inflammation.
Adjusting your diet can also help you fight arthritis. For instance, you can start consuming more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce joint stiffness and pain. These include fish and other seafood, seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, etc.), and nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.).
Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA is another fatty acid that’s quite beneficial for arthritis patients. It’s found in blackcurrant seed oil, hemp seed oil, primrose oil, etc.
It’s been found that stress affects how our body regulates inflammation (ScienceDaily). So, if you are able to control stress, then you can also control inflammation and pain from arthritis. The following are some of the ways you can go about it:
- Try to eat healthier and well-balanced meals.
- Practice relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
- You can also join groups that practice these techniques to make them a part of your routine.
- Learn to control anxiety.
- When it starts to get the better of you, try the deep breathing technique in which you can slowly count up to 10 while taking deep breaths.
Regular massages can help you in two ways- they can relax your muscles and improve blood circulation which is good for pain, and you also feel mentally relaxed and free of stress which also helps in reducing inflammation. However, for best results, find a massage therapist that specializes in working with arthritis patients as they will know exactly how to target the key areas.
The clinical efficacy of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis (NCBI) is known to all healthcare experts. Many patients have benefitted from this traditional Chinese treatment and so can you. In this, a trained professional inserts extremely thin needles into specific points in your body which stimulates its function and boosts the body’s healing response through several physiological systems. This technique can have a huge impact on your condition and overall health.
Insufficient sleep can increase your body’s sensitivity to inflammation and even hurt the immune system. So, if you are getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep frequently, your arthritis symptoms can aggravate and increase the pain. Therefore, take steps to get adequate and uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis.
For most people, arthritis symptoms can’t be eliminated completely. However, you can always take measures to control the pain and live a healthy life. If you are not able to get relief even after making these lifestyle changes, then you can also consult a doctor online on DocsApp.
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