Whether you’ve just noticed the first pangs in your joints or you’ve been living under the yolk of arthritis for years, you must know that pain, swelling, and stiffness don’t have to be your norm.
Around 24% of Americans live with chronic arthritis pain, and most don’t realize how close they are to finding relief. In addition to investing in advanced treatments, Dr. David Wu and our team at CurePain want you to seek a lifestyle supporting your joints.
Here, we highlight five ways to tweak your habits to manage arthritis like a pro.
1. Get moving
We completely understand if moving is the last thing you want to do when your body hurts, but we’ve seen firsthand how a sedentary lifestyle can be a recipe for even more pain.
Right now, your arthritic joints need healthy blood flow, strong muscles, and less weight to carry around, and you can achieve all that with regular exercise.
You don’t have to sign up for a marathon or become a bodybuilder overnight. Start with gentle, joint-friendly exercises like walking, yoga, or swimming. We recommend focusing on activities you enjoy to ensure you stick with them for the long haul.
You don’t have to give up resting altogether, either. Take a break to allow your body to recuperate and stop an activity at the first sign of increased pain. Talk to Dr. Wu before starting an exercise program; he can ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
2. Eat with your joints in mind
Arthritic joints are usually swollen, inflamed joints. So, we recommend eating foods that reduce inflammation (or at least don’t become part of the problem).
An anti-inflammatory diet usually involves avoiding high-fat animal foods and full-fat dairy products. You should regularly consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and oils. Whole fruits and vegetables should also be front and center on your plate.
Dr. Wu knows your health history well and can make specific diet recommendations based on your needs.
3. Catch some Zs
Sleep is often the missing piece in our patients’ health puzzles. It’s easier said than done for some, but healthy, restful sleep can actually improve arthritis symptoms. The sleep hormone melatonin has antioxidant effects, which support your body’s fight against inflammation.
Sleep can also help you make better choices during the day, such as eating well and getting enough exercise.
If sleep is hard for you, talk to us about habits that encourage rest, including diet changes, sleep routines, and even supplements.
4. Shed some pounds
Our patients who are overweight experience even more joint pain and damage. As you lose weight, your joints take on less and less stress, and the progress of degeneration slows — as do your symptoms.
Frequent exercise and a healthy, non-inflammatory diet are key ingredients to helping you lose weight and keep it off.
5. Try physical therapy
General exercise is great for arthritic joints, but targeted exercises and stretches in a physical therapy program specifically designed for you can have an even greater impact. During physical therapy, you learn movements that reduce strain on your joints. You also learn to modify your work and home environment to avoid aggravating motions.
In addition to physical therapy, we can recommend other treatment options, such as:
- Joint injections
- Nerve blocks
- Radiofrequency ablation therapy (RFA)
- PRP therapy
- Cognitive pain management
We specialize in a wide range of non or minimally invasive interventional pain management strategies that help your body help itself rather than temporarily masking symptoms.
If you’re sick of struggling with arthritis, don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff at 424-232-8930 or book an appointment online at our Torrance, California, office today.