Living With Arthritis
Between the pain and the fatigue, living with arthritis can be challenging. Some days are great, while others are debilitating. While there is no miracle cure for this condition, there are tips that can help make living with it healthier, with less pain. Tracking and actively managing your symptoms can help to mitigate their interruption of your life and help you live more fully. But how do you do it?
By tracking your symptoms, the pain, fatigue, swelling, stiffness, redness, etc. is an important part of managing your arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation offers a tool called Track and React. This resource enables you to track symptoms, nutrition, daily activity and more. Tracking your symptoms is a great place to start. There are other apps available, including a short list which you can find here.
Pain is a relative term. There are different types of pain. For example, it can be stabbing or throbbing. Pain can also present in different areas of your body and worsen with certain activities (or inactivity). Tracking this type of information along with the frequency of your pain can help your doctor formulate a treatment plan specific to you.
Medication and Side effects
As you recognize the changes in your body because of arthritis, it’s also beneficial to track your medication, the dosage and the side effects it causes. This will help you speak with your healthcare professional and make positive adjustments. You can find a helpful medication guide here. A journal or calendar is also a great place to write notes and track changes over time, and it can easily be brought with you to your next appointment.
Tips for Pain Management
It’s been proven that physical activity helps to reduce inflammation and the pain it causes. Select activities that are easy on your joints such as walking, cycling, or swimming. As one of the aids for daily living, we offer floor based peddlers, which help keep our customers active all year long regardless of weather and without the need to journey far from home or help.
Physical or Occupational Therapy
When moving on your own is difficult, seeing expert help in passive stretching, and alternative exercises are great ways to help reduce or manage the symptoms of arthritis in the care of professionals.
Heat and Cold Packs
Inflammation or swelling causes joint pain. One effective remedy for inflammation is to alternation the application of heat and cold. Soaking in a warm bath, using a heating pad, or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel are great ways to utilize heat to reduce inflammation. Cold packs or bags of ice wrapped in towels can help apply cold therapeutically to inflamed areas. Stop into our store to speak with our friendly experts on the different heat and cold solutions that we offer.
Pain Management Clinics
Sometimes the pain is too difficult to manage on your own. Pain clinics and their knowledgeable staff are great resources for alternative pain management modalities.
This age-old relaxation technique can help to reduce tension and with it, ease the sensation or feeling of aches and pains. The Australian Pain Management Association has put together a great resource which you can find here.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: Staying well rested can relax muscles and joints, while also lowering your stress levels. Ensure your sleeping area is dark, cool, and free from sounds. Limit device screen time and give yourself ample time to relax before bed. Essential Oils like lavender can also help to enhance the quality of your sleep.
No Smoking: If you’re a smoker, you are potentially increasing the inflammation in your body. Take steps to reduce or avoid cigarettes and cigars.
Taking some or all of these steps can help you live a more healthy, productive life with arthritis. Speak with your healthcare professional about how these different steps can make a difference with your specific health plan. We’re here to answer any questions you might have regarding the products that we carry, and how they can help you live more pain-free.