Arthritis can fill your life with pain. Not only does it restrict your movement, it can restrict your freedom. No longer can you do the things you used to do so freely. It isn't just the stiffening and swelling of joints that keep you from doing what you would like, it's the pain that can debilitate and control you.
While there is no one method that works for everyone, there are things that you can do which will bring about some relief.
As a reminder, this is not meant to be a substitute for help you can get from your physician or health care professional as this is not medical advice. This is meant to be used for educational purposes and help you find some ways to bring relief which can be used in conjunction with a treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
There are over 100 types of arthritis, and no one treatment method will work with all of them. What works well for one person might not with another. Most methods of dealing with arthritis can only hope to slow down or lessen the effects of arthritis. Treatment plans can take a lot of tweaking to find what helps you the most and may need to change over time.
The most important thing that you can do is educate yourself. Find out what type of arthritis you have and learn all you can about it. Find the answers to all the questions about it by talking to your doctor. Take this seriously and don't put off getting treatment. The work you put off doing to control it now may make it worsen at a faster pace.
You should also learn to use correct posture. It isn't too late to correct this and reap benefits. This will help proper alignment and prevent more pain form coming about. Using correct posture takes the stress off certain joints and muscles and allows for better circulation.
Exercise is going to bring relief as well. It will increase blood flow which helps get oxygen to your joints and will also help remove deposits from the afflicted areas. Exercise will also help improve your flexibility and support the muscles around the joints that give you problems.
Heat therapy will increase circulation and decrease inflammation. An added benefit from heat therapy is that it will reduce swelling and relaxes muscles that have been tightened because of the stress and pain of your condition. You can get this from heating pads, heat gels and creams, heat wraps, and a hot tub or bath.
The cold will also bring relief from arthritis pain. The cold will decrease blood flow which helps with the throbbing that can sometimes come. It reduces swelling and can also slow down the pain signals that get sent to your brain.
What can be done effectively is to use heat and cold therapy together? If you alternate between the two, you can find longer lasting effects. Apply heat to the area for five to ten minutes and then switch to cold for a minute.
You will also find that rest will play an important part in bringing relief. Having arthritis can be stressful to your body and mind in many ways. Not only will getting rest give you a break from the constant pain, but it will give your body a chance to heal itself. Resting your body and using these other methods of treatment may not bring about complete relief, but it can help a treatment plan make your life more manageable and bring back some of the freedom you may have lost.