This month is Arthritis Awareness Month so naturally we wanted to take some time to help you understand some simple things you can do to take charge of your arthritis pain. While you might think you have little control over the pain you are experiencing, some of your daily habits may actually be making that pain worse. Let’s take a look at a few habits that can make a difference when living with arthritis.
- Weight control: If your weight is slightly increasing, believe it or not, this could be a major culprit of the increased pain in your aching knees. Carrying extra weight means extra strain on your joints, which leads to the wear and tear that characterizes osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds could make a difference.
- Get up and get moving: It is definitely important to not over do it, pushing yourself too hard could put you at risk for joint injury and increased joint pain. But if lounging around is a daily habit for you, it may actually be adding to your joint pain. Arthritis pain can make it difficult to get started on an exercise plan, but it is so important that you do so. One of our experienced physical therapists can help you make a plan to get your activity back on track.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Inflammation in your body could be a possible cause of increased pain. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help play a role in arthritis pain relief. Cold water fish, like tuna or salmon, are great options and have been found to be beneficial because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Get good sleep: This can be a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep can lead to pain including joint pain, while joint pain can lead to trouble sleeping. This is something you should talk to your therapist about. Pain control can help make sleep possible.
- Reduce Stress: This is another one of those vicious cycles. Aching knees and joint pain can certainly add stress to your life, but stress can also make your arthritis pain worse. If you are stressed, overall tension in your body can be greater which magnifies joint and muscle pain. Consider creating daily stress relief habits to let some of that stress go. Meditation, massage, acupuncture or anything that makes you feel relaxed can be a big help.
Don’t let arthritis stop you from living your life. Take control of your arthritis pain and start implementing these simple habits into your daily routine. If you are unsure if physical therapy would be beneficial for you, schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists. We are here to help you restore function, improve mobility, and get back to living the life you love.