Rest the joint
In a world where we always seem to be on the go and needing to get something done, it might be hard to find time to rest. Sometimes, that’s all you need to do to ease the pain of achy joints. If you are in the middle of an arthritis flare-up, it might be a good idea to take a few days off and rest your joints. Take a break from your daily activities and some time to yourself to relax. Your joint pain could be caused by overuse. If resting doesn’t help, talk with your doctor for their suggestions on managing your symptoms conservatively or more aggressively.
It might sound counterproductive, but for people who live with arthritis, getting up and moving can also help ease joint pain. Regular, low-impact exercise for 30 minutes a day can help reduce your overall joint pain. However, you want to be careful not to engage in any activity that could further damage your joints or overuse your joints when your arthritis has flared. Going for a walk or planning regular light exercise could make your joints feel better. Get any physical activity approved by your family doctor. They can help you learn safe exercises for people with arthritis.
Manage your weight
Maintaining a healthy diet and healthy weight can relieve some pressure on your joints, especially if you have arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you’re having joint pain and are in the category of being overweight, losing even 10-12 pounds can greatly reduce pain on your hip and knee joints. You can keep a healthy weight with regular exercise and eating healthy.
Try physical therapy or occupational therapy
If you are having trouble managing your joint pain, physical therapy is one way to get some help without committing to any kind of surgery or joint replacement. In fact, physical therapy can teach you the proper body mechanics and ways to move your joints. All of the staff at NMC Health Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation are certified therapists that will help you with:
- Exercises that can help restore the mobility of your joints
- Exercises that can strengthen your muscles and support your joints
- Proper posture and walking
- Ways to make your work life and home life more ergonomical
- Custom bracing or splinting
- Proper use of assistive devices like walkers and canes
In most cases, you can make an appointment with a physical therapist without a referral. Check with your insurance to see if they cover physical therapy or if you will need a doctor’s order to attend. You will need a referral from your doctor to make an appointment with an occupational therapist.
Talk to your doctor
When it comes to arthritis or other joint pain, don’t make yourself suffer. Waiting can result in long-term or permanent damage. Talk with your doctor about other options for pain relief. It might include referral to therapy, medicine, activity modification or referral to an orthopedic surgeon.
Your doctor also might talk to you about joint replacement surgery if your joint pain is severe. Have a conversation with your primary care doctor about what option is best for you. If you are looking for information on hip or knee replacements, NMC Health Orthopedics & Sports Specialists offers board certified joint replacement surgeons that can help ease your pain.