Contrary to popular beliefs, arthritis is not a product of old age alone. In fact, there are several types of arthritis, which have nothing to do with one’s chronological age. Being afflicted with arthritis can greatly interfere with how you spend your time. The pain associated with it can be so debilitating that you might find yourself with no interest or strength left to do the things you have always enjoyed so much.
However, this does not mean that you have to spend your time wasting away. Here are several suggestions that you can follow to spring back to life and start doing the things you love to do before the disease took over.
. Don’t just sit there, exercise! The best time to exercise is when the inflammation has already calmed down. There are a number of exercises which can benefit arthritis sufferers most. Among these are range-of-motion exercises, isometrics and certain weight bearing exercises. Stretching and warming up the joints should always be incorporated as the first steps in the routine to make the joints more flexible. And as a safety precaution, remember to consult with your family physician first before engaging in these types of activities.
. Every movement counts. The best way to dodge arthritic pains is to keep your joints moving. Maintaining movement in your joints helps them to function properly for longer periods of time. It does not matter if small movements are all that you can manage. Remember that every little bit of movement counts!
. Consider exercising in the pool. Exercising in a heated pool might be a very good idea especially if you feel pain with even the simplest of movements. The natural buoyancy of the water will help reduce the pressure in your joints and the heat coming from it will actually help you loosen those joints. This idea, however, is not recommended for people with high blood pressure.
. Water workout for the hands. If your hands are in pain, a warm water workout may just do the trick. Try doing hand exercises in a tub of warm water and notice the comfort that it will bring.
. Exercise is good but do not overdo it. Overdoing your routine will not help you and may only bring you more pain. A good indication of how much is too much when it comes to exercising can be determined by observing how you feel a few hours after you have completed your routine. Then again, see how you feel after 24 hours. If you notice any significant increase in pain during that period, you definitely are overdoing it. It is best to cut back on the rate and amount of exercise that you are doing.
. Put on your gloves. Wearing your gloves provides the warmth needed to reduce the pain. Using a pair of stretch gloves might even help reduce the swelling that accompanies arthritis. For best results, keep your gloves on all night while you sleep.
. Go easy on over-the-counter creams. These may provide temporary relief but overusing these preparations can actually activate certain enzymes that can damage the cartilages in the joints.
. The bed issue. Several studies indicate that arthritis sufferers who used to sleep in water beds actually noticed reduced morning stiffness, especially when they used heated water beds. Similarly, patients who used sleeping bags on top of their beds also noticed reduced morning aches and pains.
. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, the joints naturally bear a heavier load. Thus, losing excess weight can actually reduce the stress on your joints and help them function better.
Following these suggestions can help you get back on the swing of things and may allow you to spend your days doing the things you want to do.