38% of men and women in Asia are suffering from arthritis (osteoarthritis). The risk of anyone developing arthritis is a whopping 44.7%. Pain, discomfort, and even disability are the results of untreated arthritis. So, it’s very important to know about this disease and some proven ways to control arthritis.
Are you also suffering from arthritis and want to control it before it’s too late?
Here’s good news:
You can effectively control arthritis by following a few ways that are approved by the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) as well.
Now before starting, it’s of prime importance to know about arthritis. Awareness helps you to learn self-management skills and modern techniques to get rid of arthritis.
1. What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to a range of degenerate conditions of joints and bones.
Arthritis is more common in females than in males and it usually occurs after the ‘30s. Although anyone at any age can suffer from arthritis.
2. Common types of arthritis
Two main types of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis is caused when the cartilage around bones get weak and the bones start rubbing together. The joints become inflamed and hard to move. The bones also get damaged due to this increased friction and results in inflammation. OA is also called “wear and tear” arthritis as the cartilage wears and tears, damaging bones and joints.
Although OA is degenerative i.e it progresses with time, you can still save your bones using a medication, proper treatment, and natural remedies.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder when your immune system attacks your joints, mistakenly. RA affects your whole body and is caused by a weak immune system.
RA can also be controlled with medication and self-management.
3. How to control arthritis?
So let’s know about some ways to control your arthritis and live a better and healthy life.
- Get rid of extra pounds
The first and the foremost thing to do is to reduce your weight. If your weight is more than your BMI then start reducing it because weight worsens your arthritis. More weight is equal to more pain and inflammation.
- Obesity worsens arthritis by:
- Pressing the bones and joints.
- Increasing pain
- Decreasing movements
So according to ACR/AF, reducing your weight can significantly control your arthritis. You can talk to your doctor and see how many pounds you have to shed.
Start reducing weight today and see how your movements become easy and you feel less pain. Also, the deterioration process will slow down due to less pressure.
4. Be physically active
Lethargy and sedative lifestyle further worsens arthritis. So, be physically active by exercising daily.
- Go for low impact exercises like:
But avoid stressful exercises as they will do more bad than good. Resistance training can put extra pressure on your joints and bones so better to avoid it if you have arthritis.
If you’re physically active, you can control arthritis because it helps you to:
- Reduce your weight and consequently reduce the pressure on your joints and bones
- Increase flexibility in your joints
- Strengthen muscles and so they protect joints and bones more effectively.
5. Go for a healthy diet
A lot of green vegetables, fruits, and a healthy diet can help control your arthritis. The antioxidants in fruits and veggies slow down the degenerative process and thus slows down your arthritis.
A healthy diet is great for your overall health as well. It reduces your weight and keeps you healthy and active. A diet containing red meat, frozen and preserved foods, deep-fried snacks, etc aggravates arthritis as they increase your weight and make your bones and joints weak.
Intake of Vitamin D has not proved to be helpful in arthritis. But Vitamin D is good for your overall bone health. So you can have multivitamins after consulting your doctor.
Also, make sure to have plenty of water to soothe and keep yourself hydrated. Water helps strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility.
6. Use hot and cold compressors
Another scientifically proven way to control arthritis is using hot and cold compressors. These compressors reduce pain instantly and help decrease inflammation as well.
You can choose:
- Hot compressors or electric blanket to soothe the joints and relieve pain quickly. Electric blankets can be used throughout the night for a good sleep as well.
- Cold compresses or ice packs to reduce inflammation. Don’t ever put ice directly on your skin. You can use an ice pack or a frozen veggies pack as well.
7. Use OTC ointments containing capsaicin
Capsaicin is present in chili peppers and it’s used in various over-the-counter ointments to relieve pain. Capsaicin gives warmth to the area where it’s applied. You can massage the cream daily to reduce pain and inflammation.
Ointments don’t really control arthritis but they reduce pain and inflammation very effectively. So, you can use them along with your treatment to ease your condition.
- Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique to get rid of the pain. In this procedure, small needles are inserted in specific parts of the body to relieve the illness.
Although there is very little scientific proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture yet there is no evidence of it being harmful.
So you can give it a go after consulting your doctors. Be sure to get the treatment from certified acupuncture experts.
- Use turmeric
Turmeric is a spice that is widely used in Pakistani cuisines. Turmeric helps relieve pain. It has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help slow down arthritis.
It’s suggested that curcumin; a chemical in turmeric, is responsible for reducing inflammation in joints and bones, although more research is needed to prove how turmeric actually works to control arthritis. However, an animal study suggested that feeding turmeric to mice greatly reduced inflammation in their joints.
So add turmeric to your dishes and soothe your joints and muscles.
8. Get a massage
Massage by an expert can reduce pain and inflammation effectively. You can use your ointment or any oil for massage. Massage can be practiced after regular intervals to soothe your joints and muscles.
ACR/AF is of the view that there is no evidence that massage controls arthritis but there is no risk involved, either.
So you can have a massage along with your medication and treatments to see positive results.
9. Go for laser therapy for long-term effects
Laser therapy is a modern and effective way to reduce the effects of arthritis, provide pain relief and stop it from spreading further. Laser treatment is done with regular intervals (for a certain amount of sessions) to see the difference.
Laser therapy helps reduce pain right away. Proper treatment from orthopedic consultants can control your arthritis, fast.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease that can cause severe inflammation, pain, and even disability. It is a widespread illness that affects your joints and bones. It can occur due to autoimmune responses and can affect your whole body as well.
But you can control arthritis and manage pain by shedding extra weight, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and going for laser treatment.
So follow these amazing ways to control arthritis to live healthy and happy.