If you’re one of the 54.4 million U.S. adults living with arthritis, managing joint pain and stiffness on a daily basis is important for your quality of life. Though this disease can be disabling, there are proactive strategies you can take to control joint inflammation and pain. Here are four easy lifestyle changes for managing arthritis.
1. Get Moving
Research shows physical activity like walking, biking, or swimming is good for arthritis. The Center for Disease Control recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week. Switch between periods of activity and rest to reduce stress on your joints.
2. Watch Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can limit disease progression. The more weight you carry, the more stress you put on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. For every pound you lose, there’s a 4-pound reduction in the load exerted on the knees.
3. Use Adaptive Equipment
What activities in your day cause the most stress and joint pain? Adaptive equipment can help you extend your reach and reduce strain. For example, reachers, grabbers, and dressing aids can make daily tasks easier to complete.
4. Get Assistive Devices
If walking aggravates your joints, consider getting an assistive device, like a cane, crutches, or a walker, to help keep stress off joints and improve balance. Practice using these devices in your home to get comfortable with them.
Early diagnosis and self-management activities can help reduce pain, improve joint function, lower healthcare costs, and keep you active. For a tailored treatment plan for managing arthritis, schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group. If you are concerned about the severity of your symptoms, learn more about when you should go to the ER with arthritis.
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