Did you know that in America alone, 58.5 million people have arthritis? In fact, it is the leading cause of work disability. The most common form is osteoarthritis, but other types include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. The prevalence of arthritis increases with age, and it can cause severe pain. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help ease the tension. Here are 4 of the best ways to relieve arthritis pain:
1. Keep Your Joints Moving
One of the best ways to keep your joints from hurting is to stay active. When you become stagnant, that is when arthritis pain will affect you the most. Just doing daily, simple exercises and stretches will allow your joints to keep their full range of motion. Exercise will also help to strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance. When choosing the right exercise, it’s important to stick to simple stretches that will not cause further damage to the joints. Some of the activities to avoid are things such as running, jumping, playing sports, and high-impact aerobics.
2. Take Medication When Needed
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can help to relieve occasional pain triggered by activity that your body isn’t used to. For example, you might feel more pain after your first spring day of gardening after a winter of being stuck inside. In these cases, you can take pain medications to get through the nagging pain. There are also a number of creams containing capsaicin that can be applied directly to the skin to relieve joint pain. If over-the-counter pain medications don’t seem to be helping, talk to your doctor to see what they recommend.
3. Use Good Posture
Maintaining good posture is one of the best ways to keep your pain from flaring up, especially if you are prone to arthritis in your back and neck. A physical therapist is a great option for those who suffer from arthritis because they can show you how to sit, stand, and move correctly to help with stiffness and pain. They can also teach you some at-home exercises that will help to keep you active and healthy. The important thing is to know your limits and be sure to balance activity and rest as your doctor has instructed.
4. Applying Heat and Cold
The use of heat, such as a heating pad or a hot bath, can help to relieve pain and inflammation after an exercise or strenuous activity. Be careful not to burn yourself when applying heat, and do so for no more than 20 minutes at a time. On the other hand, applying ice packs on sore muscles is another great way to handle pain and inflammation in your joints. You can also try to massage the afflicted area to relieve stiffness and pain.
With three pharmacy locations, we are here to help you with all your medication and personal care needs, including ways to deal with arthritis pain. Take a look at all the services we offer at our Michigan pharmacies! We look forward to seeing you!