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Dealing with arthritis can be a real pain – literally! But don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of things you can do to ease the ache and get back to doing what you love. Let’s dive into some friendly tips for managing joint pain and arthritis.

Physical Or Occupational Therapy

If the pain and stiffness you feel is getting in the way of performing daily tasks like getting dressed and putting your shoes on, working with a physical or occupational therapist may help.

What’s the difference?

  • Physical therapy focuses on your whole body, including your muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and cartilage. Your physical therapist will focus on your overall strength and balance. They’ll help you get your body moving.
  • Occupational therapy focuses more on your fine motor skills. Occupational therapists will help you be able to perform those day-to-day tasks that are now difficult to complete.

Gentle Exercise

It might seem counterintuitive, but gentle exercise is one of the best ways to ease joint pain. Activities like walking, swimming, or biking can help keep your joints flexible and strengthen the muscles around them. Start slow and gradually increase your activity level to avoid overdoing it. If you experience pain, stop and rest.

Rest

Didn’t we just tell you to perform some gentle exercise, and now we’re telling you to rest? Yes, and yes. Both are important to relieving joint pain. Finding the right balance between activity and rest will help you feel relief. When your pain and swelling flare up, listen to your body and rest. When it calms down, exercise more.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying extra weight puts added stress on your joints, especially your knees and hips. Did you know that for every one pound of weight loss, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee-joint load per step?1 That means if you lose 5 pounds, your knees will feel a 20-pound difference in force. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce the strain on your joints and decrease pain.

 

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help you shed those extra pounds and feel better overall. Making a change in your diet can be hard. Registered dietitians can help make it easier.

Talk with Your Provider

If you’re noticing decreased joint function, visit with your provider about finding a treatment plan that relieves your symptoms.

If your pain is severe, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to talk to you about joint replacement surgery. NMC Health Orthopedics & Sports Specialists offers board certified joint replacement surgeons who can help ease your knee, hip or shoulder pain.

 

Don’t wait. Say yes to your health so you can celebrate life’s victories. 

1Messier, S.P., Gutekunst, D.J., Davis, C. and DeVita, P. (2005), Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 52: 2026-2032. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.21139

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