It’s estimated that 3.6 million Australians suffer from one form of arthritis. The condition can be deliberating as the pain caused prevents normal movement. This makes it difficult or impossible to maintain a normal life.

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is generally associated with the aging process but this is not always the case. In fact, arthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints is worn away. Normally this acts as a cushion, protecting the bones in the joints from rubbing against each other. When the cartilage is worn the bones will rub and lose the cushioning support. This causes pain and can limit the range of movement available.

Whether you’re looking at shoulder arthritis or osteoarthritis, you’re going to be living in pain and you need to take steps to manage the condition and maintain your quality of life.

1. Exercise

It sounds surprising but movement can actually help your painful joint. Of course, this doesn’t mean any kind of movement. It’s best to speak to a specialist and have them tell you which movements are likely to be beneficial.

The purpose of the movement exercise is to maintain future movement. If you stop using the joint to avoid the pain you’ll find it gets harder and harder to move it.

2. Painkillers

Arthritis is painful. In many cases, it’s more painful in cold weather and a specific joint will ache more when being used. You can use over-the-counter painkillers to help control the pain. However, there is a risk of addiction with most painkillers.

Instead, you should talk to your doctor regarding what options are available. An occasional dose of a stronger painkiller can help. But, your doctor may be able to offer hyaluronic acid injections. He effectively lubricates the joints, reducing pain, and improving mobility. It can even help to slow the progress of osteoarthritis.

3. Switch Your Diet

You already know that a healthy and balanced diet is essential if you want to maintain your health throughout life. When you’re suffering from arthritis you’ll find that switching to a plant-based diet can be beneficial. This maintains the nutrients your body needs but also introduces an array of anti-inflammatories into your body naturally. These include nuts, green tea, tofu, and fruits.

Reducing inflammation limits the bone-to-bone contact when moving your joints, reducing pain levels, and making life easier.

4. Dietary Supplements

Omega 3 fats, vitamin D, and Curcumin are all said to help you deal with arthritic pain. Omega 3 has been shown to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, vitamin D helps t build stronger bones, and curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory, relieving pain.

However, before you add supplements to your diet you should confirm with your doctor, this will ensure they don’t conflict with anything else you’re taking.

5. Hot & Cold

Hot and cold therapy is very effective for muscle aches and joint injuries. Athletes use this all the time. The cold reduces blood flow, preventing inflammation while the heat encourages blood flow, which brings needed nutrients to the area and encourages the repair of cell damage. It’s best to use cold therapy first and then alternate with heat.

Implement these techniques and you’ll find it’s easier to live with arthritis and maintain a normal life.