Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis affects everyone differently, and what you need to live well and thrive will depend on your individual condition. Whether you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, making healthy lifestyle choices is the best way to help control symptoms and manage your disease. But there are some common mistakes people with arthritis make that can lead to worsening symptoms.
- They limit their movement.
One of the biggest arthritis mistakes people make is to limit movement of their affected joint. This can cause even more stiffness and weakness, and can lead to falls and injuries. Although it may seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain, exercise can help you strengthen muscles that support your joints, increase joint range of motion, lose weight to reduce stress on your joints, and improve your sleep and overall mood. Some excellent exercise options to help reduce pain and stiffness and strengthen joints are walking, swimming, strength training, and tai chi.
- They push through the pain.
Though exercise with arthritis is important, it’s also important to recognize when your joints and body have had enough. If your joints feel hot or swollen, you may cause more pain or damage by continuing to exercise. A strenuous workout that results in a little soreness is OK, but trying to push through pain may do serious damage to your joints. Talk with your doctor/physiotherapist about the best amount and types of exercise for you.
- They don’t see their physiotherapist
Most people with arthritis go to their primary care physician when they first notice symptoms. But to manage your condition, it’s important to see a physiotherapist who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- They don’t take their medication or adhere to home exercise program as instructed.
When your joints are feeling better, you may be tempted to skip your arthritis medication or stop those home exercise that tend to make your joints flexible and pain free. But this may cause joint inflammation to rebound and for your pain to get worse, and it may be harder to get it under control again.
- They eat foods that cause inflammation.
When you have arthritis, your joints are in an inflammatory state. Eating a healthy diet can help you reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, which may help reduce arthritis symptoms, as well as your risk for other chronic conditions caused by inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, food ingredients that are linked to inflammation include sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and saturated and trans fats (found in most fried and processed foods). Try to aim for a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, freshwater fish, and lean meats.
- They don’t get enough sleep.
Pain and fatigue from arthritis can be worse when you’re not sleeping well, so it’s even more important to be sure you have good sleep habits. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet, and try to avoid TV or use of electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Also, avoid caffeine or strenuous exercise in the evening, and try relaxing before bed with meditation, deep breathing, and/or a warm bath. If you still find it hard to get plenty of rest, talk with your doctor about other ways to improve your sleep.
Finally, call a Physiotherapist today for appropriate management of arthritis
Ask a Physiotherapist Nigeria Resource: healthgrades . com