How tweaks to your daily life can play a vital role in your fight against joint pain
Arthritis is a common chronic pain condition which affects more than 10 million people in the UK, causing pain and inflammation in joints which can make daily activities more challenging. It is a condition which affects people in different ways; some may experience mild discomfort, whilst others may be in so much pain that they find it difficult to stay mobile.
Whilst the pain of arthritis is very real and should not be underestimated, there are tweaks and adjustments that can make your pain more manageable, so you can live a fuller and more active life.
Maintain a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is a leading cause of pain in many forms of arthritis, so eating a diet which can help reduce inflammation is generally a good idea. Some foods you may want to add to your diet include fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans, as well as whole grains and high-fibre foods. Here are some simple tweaks to make to your diet that can help improve your arthritis management.
We know that exercise is the last thing you might want to do when living with the pain of arthritis, but a regular exercise regime is really important in maintaining healthy joints and muscles. Exercise helps you keep a healthy weight, keeps you supple and can improve balance and flexibility - all of which can help you stay strong and healthy.
There are loads of different types of exercise to choose from, such as yoga, swimming, dancing, and even gardening or going for a nice walk in nature. Lower impact exercises are a good place to start, so consider something like swimming which takes pressure off the joints and gives you a good combination of cardio and strength training.
Maintain a healthy weight
Did you know that one pound of weight-loss lessens four pounds of pressure on the knees per step, according to a landmark study. This means that losing just a little bit of weight could significantly lessen the pressure on your joints, which can mean less pain and healthier joints in the long term.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t mean giving up on all the foods you like - just make sure you’re mostly eating a balanced diet, limit your snacking, consider downloading a calorie tracker app to get a more accurate picture of how much you’re eating, and keep active to burn excess calories!
Pain relief and alternative therapies
Some people find that acupuncture can help with the pain of arthritis. Whilst most of the evidence is anecdotal, some people report less lower back pain and reduced general pain after receiving acupuncture. Massage, hot & cold therapy, and supplements like cod liver oil might also help with relieving and in some cases preventing pain.
Over-the-counter pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen can help lessen pain as well. You may also want to try using an anti-inflammatory rub-on cream and/or gel for pain relief. FlexiSEQ can help with osteoarthritis, which is where the cartilage in your joint starts to wear away, leading to pain and stiffness.
FlexiSEQ contains tiny droplets called Sequessome vesicles, which can get through the skin and lubricate the affected joint. This can help ease pain and stiffness, enabling you to keep moving the way you want to.
Take care of your mental health
Chronic pain can be quite isolating and can contribute to a variety of mental health problems. If you are struggling with your physical and/or mental health, you don’t have to suffer alone. Speaking to a close friend, family member or therapist can help you develop a plan and get the tools you need to keep on track.
As chronic pain is invisible, those around you may not be aware of how the pain feels. If you need help with something - whether it’s a one-time thing or with everyday tasks - reach out to those around you for support. Being open about your experience will not only help people around you understand your needs better, but it can also help you feel closer to your loved ones and enable you to feel seen.
Do you have anything to add? Any tweaks that help you with your daily life? Let us know on Facebook!