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5 Lifestyle Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain

5 Lifestyle Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain

If you’re living with arthritis, you’re not alone. In fact, studies estimate that more than 30% of Americans have some degree of arthritis. 

Arthritis is a term that encompasses over 100 conditions that cause damage to your joints, the place where two bones meet. This health issue can affect any joint, but most commonly develops in your hands, knees, hips, feet, and shoulders. 

When you have arthritis, it can cause a variety of symptoms such as pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion, all of which can make it difficult to move around with ease and perform daily tasks. 

Treatment for arthritis includes physical therapy, medications, and steroid injections. However, Sebastian Joseph, MD, and the rest of our team at Seby Medical Center want you to know that there are some lifestyle changes you can make to address arthritis symptoms as well. 

This month’s blog offers up five of those lifestyle habits you can practice for arthritis pain. 

1. Modify your activity 

Physical activity is a great way to manage arthritic pain. Not only can exercise reduce your pain, but it can also boost your mood and mitigate your risk of developing other chronic diseases. Aim to perform moderate exercises about 150 minutes every week, but know that some exercise is better than none. 

Make sure you also don’t stand or sit in one single position for too long. Try to move around and stretch as often as you can to keep your joints loose. 

It’s important to also note that you can overdo the exercise. If you feel like certain activities or prolonged periods of physical activity aggravates your pain, don’t be afraid to scale it back. Find what works best for you and stick to it. 

2. Watch what you eat

Focusing on putting the right nutrients into your body can reduce inflammation and minimize pain and swelling as a result. 

Research tells us that a Mediterranean-style diet is most helpful for managing arthritis symptoms. This type of diet focuses mainly on plant-based foods along with omega-3 fatty acids and lean proteins like fish and poultry. Other foods that can reduce body-wide inflammation are berries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.  

Avoiding saturated fats and sugar can also help with arthritic pain since those food categories are known to raise inflammation. 

3. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

If you’re overweight, the excess weight puts a lot of undue stress on your joints. This not only increases pain but also speeds up the degeneration process. Being overweight can also boost your risk of conditions that worsen arthritis such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

By exercising and eating a healthy diet, you should get all the help you need with weight management. 

4. Eliminate any bad habits

Smoking and drinking regularly or dealing with high stress levels in any unhealthy way can increase the amount of dangerous toxins in your body and speed up how fast your arthritis attacks your joints. 

Finding healthy ways to manage stress like practicing yoga, medication, relaxation, or breathing techniques can help decrease inflammation and reduce other arthritis symptoms.

5. Understand how to medicate properly 

Taking pain medication is a part of most arthritis treatment plans. However, it can be easy to over-medicate or under-medicate. 

If you find yourself taking pain relievers pretty regularly, it may be time to figure out a different medication or discuss other options. However, if you ignore the pain altogether and don’t take medication of any kind, it can start to take a serious toll on your mental health — so don’t hesitate to get the help you need.

To learn more about how to manage arthritis through lifestyle changes, contact our team by calling our office or book an appointment online today. We proudly serve the Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, areas.

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