What you do or don’t do every day can have a major impact on your joints and the level of arthritis pain you experience. Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide.
Whatever your condition, you can work to stay ahead of your pain by:
- Talking to your orthopedic physician about your symptoms, arthritis related or not. Sometimes seemingly unrelated problems are connected. Your doctor will know for sure.
- Give your orthopedic physician complete information about your medical condition and medications, including over the counter medications and supplements.
- Ask your orthopedic physician for a clear definition of the type of arthritic you have.
- Find out whether any of your joints are already damaged.
Arthritis affects about 36 percent of obese American adults, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. A healthy body weight is important to your body’s overall health, including your joints. Joints that are stressed by bearing the burden of excess pounds show more wear and tear, inflammation and stiffness, leading to arthritic pain.
Consider making these changes to help reduce your arthritis pain:
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day to keep the pounds off and reduce arthritis pain and stiffness.
- Eat a healthy diet of low-fat, low-calorie foods and plan your meals and snacks to be sure you are getting lots of fruits and vegetables through your diet.
- Get plenty of vitamin C to help manage joint inflammation. Studies have shown that vitamin C may be helpful in managing inflammation, so dig into an orange or have a glass of grapefruit juice.
- Manage your weight. Even a few extra pounds can worsen your arthritis pain, so talk to your doctor to determine your healthiest weight. Focus on that number as your goal, and track your weight loss until you reach it.
- Quit smoking. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which leads to more arthritis pain.
- Avoid alcohol. Don’t medicate yourself with alcohol to manage pain; it will only create more problems and add calories to your diet.
Schedule an appointment with a board certified orthopedic physician to get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.