Tips for Coping with Arthritis

Any chronic health condition can impact day-to-day life, and arthritis comes with its own set of challenges. 

What is Arthritis?

So, what is arthritis? Understanding the nature of the disorder will empower you to make changes to enhance your wellbeing. 

The most common form of arthritis – Osteoarthritis – causes deterioration of protective joints over time, and commonly affects the knees, hips, spine, and hands. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect the joints and attack body tissues. The condition can lead to joint deformity and bone erosion. 

While arthritis can create difficulties, you can take steps to manage pain and improve your quality of life. Be sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your health routine.

Home Remedies for Arthritis

While your doctor may prescribe medication as a way to manage arthritis, these home remedies can act as natural treatments to help alleviate pain and inflammation.

Heat and Cold 

An electric blanket or hot shower can diminish discomfort and alleviate stiffness. Cold application works best to relieve swelling, joint pain, or inflammation. You can freeze or microwave Icewraps Gel Packs to apply cold or heat to your liking.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Essential oils are known for their soothing scents, and they have other beneficial properties too. A 2017 study found that lemongrass essential oil can reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis. For safe application, dilute essential oils and test them in a small area to check for sensitivity or allergic reactions. 

What Helps Arthritis

The following tips can enhance your overall health and help you manage arthritis.

Weight Management

The degeneration of cartilage can put strain on your joints, and carrying around extra weight can put pressure on your feet, knees, and hips. Talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan to prevent future damage and improve your mobility.  

Exercise

Staying active is an excellent way to engage and strengthen vital muscles around your joints. Low-impact exercises like walking, water aerobics, or swimming are a great way to build strength. Exercises to improve balance also help combat aches and pains. Getting social is a wonderful way to stay motivated, so check out the engaging activities in your senior living community.  

A Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables affects every aspect of your health, from the glow of your skin to the strength of your bones. A diet full of saturated fat and processed foods not only contributes to obesity – thereby accelerating degeneration of the joints – but can also aggravate inflammation. Try the following foods that are rich in antioxidants to remove free radicals from the body: 

  • Blueberries
  • Pecans
  • Kale
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Spinach  

Ask a staff member for the dining menu to check out nutritious dining options at your senior living community. 

Reducing Stress During Arthritis Flares

Flare-ups can be par for the course with arthritis. Luckily, there are simple methods you can use to reduce stress and enhance arthritis pain relief. 

Incorporate a Morning Stretch

Stretching when you get out of bed is a gentle way to get in tune with your body, and can also boost your mobility. A simple knee hug or torso twist can make all the difference during arthritis flare-ups. 

Lift Your Mood with Calming Music  

If arthritis pain has you feeling low, your favorite upbeat tune can be an instant way to shift your thoughts. Audio therapy can also help if you’re having trouble sleeping, and binaural beats in instruments such as the piano or organ can increase relaxation and lower stress. 

Remember that your loving community of caregivers is here to support you and ensure your day runs smoothly. Speak to your trusted staff at Civitas Senior Living about the dining options, engaging activities, or anything else they can do to unlock your best life. 

Published 12/16/2020

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