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Tips To Reduce Arthritis Pain

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  • 06-12-2021
Tips To Reduce Arthritis Pain

Are you looking for tips to reduce arthritis pain? We look at common concerns with arthritis pain along with physical and emotional therapies.  

Common Concerns With Arthritis Pain

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK, with it manifesting as people reach 40, 50 and older. If you are suffering from arthritis pain or know of someone who is, you will understand the concerns associated with it and how the condition can begin to affect life. 

As you start exploring the condition further, we've compiled some tips to help you get some control and independence back over your life. 

Basic Understanding

As with anything, gaining an understanding of how arthritis works can greatly benefit you. As it will manifest for everyone differently, you should try to best understand your body and what it needs. 

With arthritis being an inflammation, stiffness and tenderness of the joints and muscles, some areas can be more damaged than others, and you could notice increased pain in specific bodily regions. If this occurs, you should contact your doctor immediately, outlining the pain change or increase.

 You're also not alone in this, as your friends, family and even online forums can become supporters and help you through the pain. 

There are different arthritis symptoms for each person, and you can always find someone else who is experiencing the same pain as you. 

How Can I Help An Elderly Person With Arthritis?

Daily Habits

As your body changes, you should be adopting new movements and routines to help combat the pain. Keeping your joints moving as much as you can will help ease pain and give you some freedom. 

Even some simple stretching or some mild yoga can help keep mobility and relieve some stress. Enlisting the help of a physiotherapist can ensure that your posture is good and how you can adapt your movement, walking and standing to match your new arthritis pains. 

Exercise

We understand how challenging it may be for some to become or stay active when experiencing arthritis pains, but start slowly, and you can make all the difference. When you exercise, your body strengthens, and your motion improves. 

It can also have an extremely positive impact on your mental health and mental clarity, giving you a chance to escape and breathe. Ensure that you're choosing the right physical activity for your lifestyle and joint pain, as you should be aiming to build muscle strength around the joints that need it without harming the joints. 

You don't have to navigate this alone, as you can utilise the services of a physical therapist or coach, and a unique exercise plan can be established for you. To begin, you should aim to continue walking as much as possible and then increase this to cycling, swimming and other low-impact exercises that won't damage your joints. 

This removes the option for running, as the impact on the ground can cause more pain in the knees and leg joints. Weight management can be hard for those with arthritis, as you slowly lose mobility, but if you start early, you can combat it and stay on your feet for longer. 

Medication 

Thankfully you have options when it comes to medication and treating your arthritis pain. It's best to talk with your doctor and plan out a medicine journey for you, as this can be modified when new pain arises. Over-the-counter medication can help ease the pain within the muscles or joints, especially as you begin to exercise more. Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium or Acetaminophen are the more common options available to you, but you can also receive non-oral medication in the form of creams and rubs. 

Of course, pain isn't the only side effect of arthritis, and it can gravely affect the mental health of any sufferer. Depression and anxiety can spike in more extreme cases, especially as your ability to perform tasks lessens. For this reason, antidepressants are also prescribed to people with arthritis, as these can also help alleviate pain.

Physical And Emotional Therapies 

Finding a way to remove and alleviate both physical and emotional pain should be the goal, as both will take a massive toll when suffering from arthritis. As you begin to find it more and more strenuous to complete normal tasks, you will feel disheartened. That's completely understandable and expected, but there are therapies you can pursue to help deal with the mental side effects of this condition.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT has become a popular therapy method and helps people identify reactions and cycles within themselves that lead to self-destructive behaviour. This can help with anything happening in your life and improve how you view and react to it, all with recognising your own thoughts. 

With arthritis, although CBT will not cure and alleviate any of the physical symptoms and pain, it can improve your mindset and find new ways to deal with your new way of life. 

The sessions will be one-on-one with a therapist (preferably one with experience with arthritis) and will give you a chance to explore and vocalise all your doubts, fears and anger. 

Acupuncture

When dealing with the physical side effects of arthritis, acupuncture has become a favoured treatment among sufferers. Acupuncture is the process of inserting a minimum of five thin needles into specific points of the body, which can alleviate pain. Unlike other pain relief methods, acupuncture can bring about longer-lasting comfort, as the sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles begin to release endorphins. These endorphins are crucial in pain relief, and the practice was first used throughout China to level our internal energy, Qi. 

Meditation

Many people across the globe will preach about the physical and mental health benefits to be gained from some form of meditation. This can span across many different formats, and there will be a type of meditation that is right for you.

 Yoga, journaling, breathing exercises, and even tai chi can all help you find peace of mind and relaxation. When you take control over your mental state and put yourself in a better frame of mind, you can even begin to notice a physical improvement and an easing of pain.

Ways To Work Out With Arthritis

Despite being in pain and perhaps feeling robbed of your exercise options, there are still many ways you can work out, even with arthritis. You will notice an improvement in your mental health as you continue to do so, and your body will become looser and more flexible. 

Arthritic pain can also decrease and stop further conditions from beginning, such as obesity and osteoarthritis. To begin, it's all about balance and understanding your body's requirements. Safely exercising is more important than doing loads in a short period. 

01

Golf

As people get older, many turn to golf as a regular exercise. There's a lot of endurance needed for golf, and when done correctly, it can work out your wrists, hands, shoulders, legs and even your back all at once. 

If you aren't even playing and choose to walk the course with your friends, this is still an incredible amount of exercise. Be sure to wear the correct shoes for this, though, and only old clubs that are lighter, so you're not straining yourself.

02

Water Aerobics

Much like water walking, aerobics can be done in groups too. This typically involves being submerged in chest-deep water and performing simple arm and upper body movements and workouts. 

Aerobic exercise can be great for those that have noticed a dip in mobility and want to get their joints moving, as the water will help alleviate pressure. This exercise is a much more low impact aerobic type than on-land and can be repeated much more often, becoming part of your routine.

03

Swimming

Regular swimming can be of great benefit to you and can get you out with your family. As swimming involves the movement of all your muscles, you can change what stroke and style you want to adopt. 

If one week you are experiencing more arms or shoulders, then a breaststroke may not be as helpful to you. Your legs will be straight for most swim strokes, meaning you can get a good workout done without bending and damaging your joints too much. 

04

Bocce Ball

Belonging to the boules family of games, bocce ball is another great idea for getting up and moving. This is a great way to burn calories and have fun simultaneously, which is ideal for someone who feels that they aren't having much currently. 

This can be played with a family and children and can help mobility significantly as bending and lunging aren't needed, meaning you can play it standing up. 

05

Shuffleboard

This can be played both indoor and outdoor and again requires a few people to play. It can be a great social exercise and involves using your arms and torso to play. 

Lunging is only advised where possible, as it can be good to stretch the muscles in the legs, but it mustn't be done to the detriment of the individual. The puck can be heavier than expected, so be sure not to aggravate your shoulder or back pain.

06

Treadmill Walking

The use of a treadmill for walking is another common practice, as it allows you to push yourself without actually going anywhere. Most models will have handlebars for support, and you can set the pace and incline at any given moment. 

It's advised you start slow and work your way up to a higher speed, but you should only ever move at a pace you are comfortable with.

07

Water Walking

This is an incredibly popular form of exercise among arthritis suffers, as being submerged in water can significantly lessen joint pain. When underwater, your weight and, therefore, pressure on your joints is decreased by up to 50%, meaning you can achieve a lot more than being on land.

This can be done in classes and groups, bringing in an entirely social side to the activity, and can be a great way to meet others with the same condition. 

08

Walking Outdoors

Taking a walk outside can also offer the same benefits and can do wonders for the mental state. Walking can strengthen muscles, relieve arthritic pain and improve the overall endurance of the individual. 

You should aim for flatter paths and walkways and avoid concrete or tarmac as much as possible as they are higher impact surfaces and can hurt your joints over time. Dirt trails are great for getting out, avoiding concrete and spending time with family. 

09

Elliptical Machine

This is similar to using a running machine or treadmill, but you will notice much less joint pain on an elliptical machine. You become one with the movement of the machine, and your joints will receive a circular workout, becoming almost rhythmic. 

This range of motion can become extremely satisfying once you've got this right, and the same customisation options are available for pace and incline.

10

Pilates

Another group activity that is great for the spine and strengthening muscles is Pilates. This can be done on a floor mat or via a machine, but these sessions can become enjoyable and still give you a good workout of the whole body. 

Pilates can also bring about greater strength and flexibility, giving you more ability to perform simpler tasks in the home. Those that attend Pilates sessions also notice an increase in happiness and general mental clarity. 

11

Cross-Country Skiing

For those that are wanting a more extreme and unique workout, then cross-country skiing is still achievable. This will work out the entire body and give you a special experience to remember. 

There's much less twisting and navigating with cross-country compared to downhill skiing, which can become painful extremely quickly to arthritic people. 

12

Cycling

This is great for working your lower body muscles and can help you travel further distances. This can be done indoors too, on a static bike, and you can set the pace and timings yourself there. Be sure to wear the proper footwear and adjust the seat height to have slightly bent knees when resting on the pedal. You need to be comfy on the bike before you set off. 

There are other muscle strengthening exercises available to you, and each individual will develop their own routine. Trying as much as you can and then whittling that list down is the best way to find what works and what doesn't work for you and your lifestyle. 

As this condition develops over time, you will want to find the way to have the best quality of life, and there are many ways to achieve that.


If you have questions about how to live better with Arthritis, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional arthritis care at home.