People of all ages find themselves struggling with the painful symptoms of arthritis. In fact, more than 58 million Americans have arthritis in one form or another. Most find themselves diagnosed with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, which are the two most common of the 100+ types of arthritis.
Arthritis symptoms include joint stiffness or pain, reduced range of motion, or the swelling of joints. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can even lead to disability in some people.
For those living with this painful condition, arthritis management is a part of daily life, and finding the best ways to handle arthritis discomfort is crucial to their overall well-being and happiness.
Let’s look at five of the best arthritis management tips for older adults.
1. Focus on Nutrition
Paying attention to what you eat is at the top of the arthritis management tips list. It’s an important factor in your all-around health, as well as a great way to help keep arthritis pain at bay.
To help limit your arthritis pain and lower your inflammation levels, do your best to eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids each day. If you enjoy seafood, you can eat salmon or tuna. Many nuts and seeds like flaxseeds or walnuts have healthy fats in them. Or you can find yogurt or eggs that have been fortified with omega-3s.
2. Keep on Moving
Exercise is a great way to decrease arthritis discomfort. If you’re already dealing with painful symptoms, make sure to start off slow in frequency and intensity to avoid further soreness. Low-impact exercises like walking and swimming are a great place to start.
Be sure to choose activities that are fun for you to do. Moving your body in a way that’s enjoyable for you will help you to stick with an exercise routine that can ease stiffness in your joints.
3. Consult Your Doctor
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, or you suspect you might have it, you should keep your doctor in the loop with any arthritis symptoms you’re experiencing.
Your physician will be able to point you toward medication or supplements to address any pain you’re having. They’ll also be able to recommend other preventative measures that will assist in your arthritis management routine.
4. Protect Your Joints
Injury to your joints can worsen arthritis symptoms. This is why doing your best to take care of your joints by maintaining a healthy body weight and using proper posture when moving, sitting, and standing is important in arthritis management. Your doctor might also recommend a vitamin D or calcium supplement to help keep your bones and muscles strong and supple.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Staying active is crucial to preventing pain and stiffness in your joints. But giving yourself time to relax is also key. Arthritis management can be a balancing act between knowing when to move and when to rest.
Having a housekeeper or asking a family member for help with chores that are hard on your joints can go a long way to warding off arthritis pain. Being sure to get a good night’s sleep will also boost your health in many ways.
You might find reducing your caffeine intake and screen time in the evenings to be helpful ways to get to sleep faster. Many people also find meditating or taking a bath at night are beneficial bedtime habits.