Please consult with your doctor before attempting to treat your pain on your own.

Do not smoke. Studies have shown a connection between smoking and arthritis. Smoking may result in escalated pain, more severe symptoms, and increased joint damage.

Protect your body. Avoid activities and body positions that cause pain or place a lot of stress or pressure on your painful joints. Remaining in one position for a long period of time can cause joint stiffness and pain so make sure to move or change positions often.

Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying excess weight puts undue stress and strain on your weight bearing joints. Extra weight increases the risk of developing arthritis and can cause arthritis to progress more quickly.

It is not surprising to feel aches and pains as we enter our seasoned years. Some of the aches and pains we experience as we age may be caused by osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis and very common in later years.

Osteoarthritis is not considered to be a "normal" part of aging, but the risk of developing the condition does increase as we get older. The condition is caused by the typical wear and tear of living. Its symptoms can sneak up on you as your joints become more and more painful over time. Arthritis pain is usually felt in the weight bearing joints like the hips, knees, feet, and spine.

Speak with your doctor if think your aches and pains may be caused by arthritis. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy or occupational therapy. Both are forms of rehabilitation. Physical therapy helps strengthen and heal areas of the body, while occupational therapy helps identify how to manage daily activities so that a painful condition like arthritis does not stop people from living as fully as possible. Your doctor might also prescribe medications.

There are things you can do to help improve and manage arthritis symptoms and pain. Some people find the following tips helpful. Always consult with your doctor before adding something new to your usual daily routine.

When Aches and Pains Mean Osteoarthritis

  • Pick up cold packs at your local pharmacy. They can be stored at room temperature until needed and then activated.
  • Take a bag of frozen vegetables out of the freezer, wrap it in a wash cloth, and place on the painful joints.
  • Put a bag of ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrap in wash cloth, and apply to sore joints.
  • Bathing in cool water may be helpful, however, not so cold that it is uncomfortable or you become chilled.
  • Try an over-the-counter pain relieving spray or gel that starts off cold and turns warm after you apply it to your skin.
  • Never keep something very cold on your skin for an extended period of time.
  • Take a warm shower or soak in a warm bath to ease stiffness.
  • Pick up a heating pad from your local pharmacy. Those that provide moist heat tend to be the most helpful for arthritis pain.
  • Warm up a wet washcloth under running water or in the microwave to place on joints.
  • Use an electric blanket in bed. You don’t have to have it on all night. Try using it to warm up your joints and muscles before you get out of bed in the morning.
  • Warm your clothes in the dryer before putting them on.
  • Try an over-the-counter spray or gel that starts off cold and heats up after you apply it to your skin.
  • Be careful not to burn your skin, especially if you have a health condition that has caused any loss of feeling.

Remain as active as possible. Exercise can strengthen your muscles and improve the flexibility of your joints. Staying active also can increase energy and enhance your mood. Try a water aerobics/exercise program. Moving and exercising your body in water causes less stress on your joints than on dry land. At the same time, water also provides resistance, which means simpler movements done in water provide more benefit than if done out of the water.

Stretch. Stretching out your joints on a daily basis can help ease pain and increase function. Your doctor or rehabilitation therapist will be able to help you put together a regular stretching program that meets your specific needs. Many people with arthritis find yoga helpful, because it concentrates on stretching and also can enhance feelings of well-being.

Helpful tips for people with arthritis


age adds flavor


Tips for Applying Cold Therapies

Get enough sleep. Arthritis pain and inflammation can drain your energy and cause fatigue. Being well rested won’t make your condition go away, but it can help make it easier to deal with the pain and difficulties of living arthritis. Some people find that using pillows to take the pressure off painful joints makes it a lot easier to get to sleep and stay asleep. If you have difficulty getting a full night of sleep, let your doctor know.

Tips for Appling Heat therapies

Use heat and cold. Applying heat (i.e. a heating pad) or cold (i.e. an ice pack) to painful joints and muscles can provide some relief for arthritis sufferers. Heat helps muscles relax; cold helps to minimize inflammation and pain. Alternating heat and cold can offer powerful relief. Talk to a health-care provider about how to use heat and cold safely.

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