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5 Lifestyle Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain

Arthritis, affecting over 53 million people in the United States, is a condition marked by joint inflammation that can significantly affect your daily activities through pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Beyond medical interventions, incorporating specific lifestyle changes can help you manage arthritis pain effectively.

Known for our expertise and compassion, the team at Active Care Chiropractic and Rehabilitation recommends five lifestyle strategies to mitigate the symptoms of arthritis:

1. Stay physically active

The most important thing you can do to manage arthritis symptoms is to stay physically active. Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints, lessening the strain on them. Choose low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling, which benefit cardiovascular health and are gentle on the joints. 

You can also incorporate stretching and yoga to improve your flexibility and minimize stiffness. When starting a new exercise program or changing the activities you participate in, always start with moderate activities and progressively increase intensity to prevent strain.

2.  Aim for a healthy body weight

Excess weight can increase arthritis pain by increasing stress on load-bearing joints like hips and knees. Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight can alleviate this stress and reduce pain. Focus on consuming a balanced diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs, minimize inflammation, and help you reach your ideal body weight. 

To lose weight or reduce weight gain, minimize processed foods and sugar intake. Our team offers tailored dietary recommendations to support arthritis management.

3. Develop healthy sleep habits

Good sleep is necessary for good overall health and also plays a significant role in managing arthritis pain. Lack of sleep can increase your sensitivity to pain, aggravating arthritis symptoms. Good sleep hygiene includes a consistent sleep schedule, a comfortable sleeping environment, and avoiding caffeine or screens before bedtime. Relaxation practices like meditation or deep breathing can also foster better sleep.

4. Learn to manage stress effectively

Stress can activate and intensify arthritis symptoms. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga. Pursuing calming hobbies like gardening, painting, or reading can also be beneficial. If it’s needed, seek counseling or join support groups for emotional support and coping strategies for arthritis challenges.

5. Use hot and cold therapy

Heat and cold treatments can provide temporary relief from arthritis pain. Heat therapy, through warm baths or heating pads, relaxes muscles and enhances joint flexibility. Conversely, cold therapy using ice packs can reduce inflammation and numb pain areas. Use these treatments judiciously and avoid direct skin contact to prevent burns or frostbite.

While arthritis can be challenging, adopting certain lifestyle changes can significantly improve your quality of life. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage your arthritis symptoms, call the office nearest you in Main Line and Narberth, Pennsylvania, or schedule an appointment online to learn about our cold laser therapy for arthritis treatment.

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