Regular exercise is crucial for people suffering from arthritis. People often limit their physical
activity to reduce their symptoms of arthritis pain. However, by limiting your mobility or exercise, you cannot treat inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. In fact, a lack of exercise can lead to unwanted shortening of muscles and loose ligaments.
Through meditation and deep breathing during exercise and increasing your daily intake of
vitamin D, it is possible to reduce joint pain and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Following are some effective ways to treat chronic pain and control the adverse effects
associated with it.
- Yoga and Meditation
According to the ACR (American College of Rheumatology), stretching and muscle strengthening workouts improve mobility and endurance in people with arthritis. (1)
High-intensity workouts are often not suitable for people suffering from severe arthritis pain and joint damage.
Whereas, moderate exercises such as cardio and jogging is well tolerated by people suffering
from mind arthritis.
Ideally, people suffering from arthritis need to work more on their overall body posture, (2)
stretching and endurance while avoiding any excessive exertion or pressure on their joints.
Yoga is a great mental and physical exercise that improves a person’s physical strength and
reduces unnecessary stress, anxiety or other mental disorders caused by arthritis.
Yoga is also a great alternative for machine workouts and doesn’t require any expensive (3)
exercise equipment or machinery.
- Water Exercises
As mentioned earlier, any form of exercise or physical activity can help to reduce pain and inflammation that is associated with chronic arthritis. In a research journal; Arthritis and
Rheumatology, it was revealed that a very low percentage of arthritis patients exercise regularly. (4)
The main issue for this low percentage is the inability of people to lift heavy weights or walk and jog uphill due to the inflammation and swelling in their joints. Water exercises, however,
are ideal for people who have inflammation or soreness in their joints. Due to buoyancy, water enhances smooth body movements without excess exertion of force on the knees and joints. (5)
- Hot and Cold Compression
Another great option to reduce swelling and inflammation is applying cold or hot compression on your joints.
Many people find it hard to choose between cold or heat compression to treat their joint pain
Hot and cold compression is used for treating different types of arthritis-related issues.(6)
Heat compression is used to lose stiff joints and muscles.
Cold compression is ideal for treating minor injuries, inflammation, and swelling caused by any excessive physical activity or exercise. (7)
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications for Chronic Arthritis
Various non-steroidal and NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) are used to treat pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Many doctors also prescribe anti-depressants to deal with stress and anxiety caused by chronic pain. It also helps to change the way a person’s mind interprets pain in chronic arthritis. (8)
Frequent use of painkillers may lead to severe liver problems.
Acetaminophen is a form of analgesic, which is commonly used to relieve arthritis pain, (9)
however, it is not recommended for reducing inflammation or swelling.
- Vitamin D
Multiple studies reveal that people suffering from arthritis are more likely to develop vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a key role in the absorption of calcium, which is necessary to keep your bones healthy. Vitamins D also helps in treating inflammation and aids in the proper functioning of the muscular system. (11) (14)
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with a high intake of oral steroids are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency than those who don’t use them. Since people with chronic arthritis use oral steroids to reduce their joint pain and inflammation, they are at a higher risk of D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency affects the immunity system and lowers their calcium levels in the body. (12) (13)
Therefore, people with chronic arthritis need to increase their daily intake of vitamin D.
Rheumatologists recommend their patients to include some form of physical activity in their daily routine. Arthritis is definitely a painful condition but with the right precautions and treatment, the pain can be controlled. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before
trying any of these tips.
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