If you’re asking yourself- what can help my arthritis, I will try to clear up a few of the most popular misconceptions for you.
Here’s are a list of the most common questions about Arthritis and the facts about what can help arthritis pain.
1. Fact or Fiction? There is no cure for arthritis
True. There is no cure for arthritis; however, the discomfort and pain can be managed through medication, heat, splints, braces, adaptive devices and learning new ways to accomplish everyday tasks and activities.
2. Fact or Fiction? The weather makes a difference in how my joints feel
Fact. There’s a reason people move to Arizona. Dry, warm weather reduces joint pain. When the humidity is high and barometric pressure is low, particularly just before a storm, if you have arthritis you may feel increased pain or stiffness. If you live in a hot, humid climate, a dehumidifier in your home can help. Most air conditioning systems also help reduce humidity, run it during the day and even overnight to help you sleep comfortably.
3. Fact or Fiction? My diet makes a difference in my arthritis symptoms and how I feel
Fact. Excess weight puts more stress on your joints. Keeping your weight in check helps protect them. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a mix of grains and proteins makes good sense for everyone.
4. Fact or Fiction? I can’t exercise because I have arthritis
Fiction. Movement, including gently stretching, is important to increase strength and flexibility. Exercising also reduces the pain and stiffness in your joints. I love my recumbent bike.
You just have to think about how you work out. If running aggravates the arthritis in your knees and makes them ache, switch to a less intense and less weight-bearing exercise like swimming, biking or yoga.
Always consult with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
5. Fact or Fiction? Nothing will reduce the pain of my arthritis
Fiction. Heat, ice, prescription and non-prescription medicines, topical ointments and splints can all help alleviate the pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Cold and heat can both help when dealing with arthritis pain. Using heat in the morning relaxes muscles and reduces stiffness.
Using ice at night lessens joint inflammation for most people.
I personally like the heat from thermacare heat wraps. My joints just don’t tolerate cold.
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can also be very beneficial in helping to control arthritis pain.
Non-prescription medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, help control pain and swelling. But everyone can’t take them. Example you cannot take NSAIDS if you have had bariatric surgery. So always talk to your doctor.
Prescription medications, like COX-2 inhibitors, anti-TNF compounds, steroids, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help reduce swelling and pain and can prevent further damage. However steroids are known to cause Avascular Necrosis- Osteonecrosis
Speak with your health care provider or pharmacist to make sure you are taking the right medication, even nonprescription drugs can be harmful or ineffective if you are not taking them correctly or if they may cause an interaction with your other medications