4 Tips for Self-Managing Arthritis Pain

Unfortunately, arthritis can mean living with pain. Fortunately, you can manage it. Here are four tips for self-managing your arthritis pain:

1) Take Your Meds

After all, that’s what they’re there for. Prescription or over-the-counter medications recommended by your doctor go a long way toward reducing inflammation and pain.

Establish a routine to help you remember to take them. If side effects or cost keep you from taking your meds, talk to your doctor about some alternatives.

2) Watch Your Weight

They’re called weight-bearing joints for a reason. Extra weight increases pressure on them and causes pain. What’s more, fatty tissue actually sends out chemical signals that increase inflammation.

Being overweight also increases your odds of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, and no one wants those.

Eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and lean proteins like beans, fish and poultry. While you’re at it, stay away from alcohol, which can interfere with restorative sleep.

3) Keep Moving

Low-impact activities like walking, water aerobics and yoga can reduce joint pain while improving flexibility, balance and strength.

Cardiovascular exercises like riding a stationary bike help keep your heart in shape. Plus, exercise increases natural endorphins, brain chemicals that block pain and improve your mood.

Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise routine.

4) Be Happy

A positive attitude can boost your ability to cope with pain, so do the things you enjoy as much as you’re able, and find ways to keep your mind off the pain.

Meditation and breathing techniques can also help your body relax, which may reduce pain. By all means, reduce the stress in your life and avoid those bummer feelings.

The Arthritis Foundation has also developed an eye-opening quiz that may be just what you need to help you take control of arthritis pain. Take the Arthritis Foundation’s Managing Your Pain Quiz.

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