Arthritis is one of the leading causes of pain and disability worldwide. It is the inflammation of joints causing swelling and tenderness that can be extremely painful and debilitating. It can make everyday tasks such as walking, bathing and getting dressed much harder. Most commonly it occurs in the back, hips and knees – but it can happen anywhere in your joints. If you have it in your knees or hips it may be very difficult to walk upstairs, which is when you may need a stairlift installed in your home.
There are lots of other things you can do to treat and manage your arthritis which we will cover in this blog.
When managing arthritis it’s important to get a headstart and learn what you can about your condition such as what type of arthritis you have and any damage your joints already have. Speak to your doctor, family and friends to help manage your pain and make sure to keep them updated on any changes to your condition.
Arthritis requires you to stay on top of your pain management which you can do by ensuring you keep moving your joints with daily, gentle stretches. As well as this, ensure good posture and ask a physical therapist to show you the best ways to sit, stand and move. It’s important to know your limits and not to overdo activity or rest.
Arthritis may affect many aspects of your life, so you should make adequate lifestyle changes. This may include managing your weight as you can increase complications of arthritis by being overweight.
It’s also a good idea to quit smoking as it causes stress on connective tissues and will help reduce pain and inflammation and consider installing home modifications that ease the pressure on your joints such as a stairlift or walk-in bath.
There are lots of exercises you can do to decrease your pain and stiffness. Make sure to choose the right kind of activities that help build muscles around your joints without damaging them. These exercises should focus on stretching and range of motion such as yoga, walking and swimming. Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive movements such as running, jumping, tennis and high-impact aerobics.
Some over the counter medications may help occasional pain triggered by activity you aren’t used to such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. However, it’s important to avoid overtreatment as you can become reliant on pain medication. Talk to your doctor if you find yourself using over the counter medications often. You also don’t want to undertreat your pains as you may have joint inflammation that requires daily medication. As depression is more common in people with arthritis, doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies not only reduces symptoms of depression but also arthritis pain.
If you suffer from arthritis you may benefit from installing a stairlift into your home. These can help you ease the pain and symptoms of arthritis by taking the stress off joints from walking up and down the stairs several times a day. Alfix is a provider of quality stairlifts helping you regain your independence, for more information visit our website.