Monday, February 8, 2010

Arthritis Management Tips

If you have ever suffered with arthritis or have a family history of it, then you know how debilitating it can be. Arthritis pain can be mild or severe and can vary depending on the weather, your age, overall health and other factors. You can learn to control your pain to a certain degree using arthritis management tips offered by the Arthritis Foundation.

Your mind plays a large role in how you respond to pain. If you become depressed and feel hopeless you will usually become inactive and in the end your pain will be intensified. If you can learn to relax and work with your arthritis you will find that your pain will lessen and you will be able to handle it better.

You should practice preventative measures to help with your arthritis pain. Some, such as avoiding prolonged exposure to the cold are simply common sense. Others, like exercise, may sound ludicrous if you are in pain; however, it has been proven that regular exercise offers benefits to your overall health and helps with arthritis symptoms.

Another important part of managing your arthritis is learning to use your joints in a protective manner. This is simply doing tasks in ways that are less stressful on joints. For example, if you have arthritis in your wrist you need to learn to hold your hands in a comfortable position when you are on your computer.

The Arthritis Foundation also stresses the need for getting plenty of sleep. When your body does not get enough sleep your energy level is depleted and you pain management skills are weakened. Also, when you are sleeping your joints are resting and have time to recover and reduce swelling.
In addition to preventative management you should also practice pain management skills that are beyond medications. As mentioned previously, relaxation techniques are helpful in coping with pain. Along with relaxation you should also practice being positive. Thinking positive thoughts and surrounding yourself with positive people help to take the focus off of the pain.

Arthritis management doesn’t stop when you leave the doctor’s office and isn’t contained in a bottle of pain medicine. You may have to use pain medications but you can also take control of your arthritis and make life changes that help you manage it.

Photo: jscreationzs

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