How To Get Moving
Youve probably heard Newtons law that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. That fundamental law of nature has important implications for people who want to stay active but have stopped moving due to arthritis pain.
Dr. Michael Raab explains how exercise can reverse joint stiffness, pain, and weakness.
Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.
Is exercise beneficial in the treatment of arthritis?
Physical activity, whether its vigorous exercise or a gentle walk, provides the momentum you need to keep blood flowing, muscles working, and your attitude positive. If you havent been doing much exercise, its best to start gradually. Follow your doctors advice about incorporating these activities into your daily routine:
- Stretching and range-of-motion exercises.;Keep muscles and joints flexible.
- Strengthening with resistance bands or light weights.;Household items such as cans of soup will also work to help build strength and stability in muscles, bone and cartilage, and prevent injury.
- Aerobic exercise to improve overall fitness. Choose activities that dont put stress on your joints, such as walking, bicycling, or swimming.
Moderate exercise helps ease pain and stiffness in your joints.
If your joints are especially painful, swollen, and stiff, its OK to reduce your activity. As soon as you are able, though, resume gentle stretching and movement.
Or Sleep With Ice Packs
Everyone says heat for arthritis but for me ice is the best, especially if I cant sleep, says Jennifer D., 28, of Washington, D.C. Heat makes the rashes from my psoriatic arthritis feel worse so I have ice packs I keep in the freezer and put them down my pajamas at bedtime. It takes some getting used to but its worth it for me to sleep better. Her trick is to buy ice packs that dont leak or sweat so she doesnt wake up in a wet bed.
Heat/cold Therapy For Temporary Pain Relief Of Spinal Arthritis
People with osteoarthritis often find that warmth, through warm towels or hot packs applied to the joint, or a warm bath or shower, can relieve pain and stiffness. Heat is known to help reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints and can help improve circulation. Water therapy in a heated pool or whirlpool may also help.
In some cases, cold, through cold packs or a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, can relieve pain or numb the sore area.
Often, applying heat for 20 minutes before doing an exercise routine or activity, and following up with applying cold to the affected area afterwards, will help alleviate activity and exercise related pain in the joints.
A doctor or physical therapist should be consulted to determine if heat, cold, or a combination of the two is the best treatment.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Worse At Night
Rheumatoid Arthritis pain worse at night is something many people with this painful condition find nearly impossible to bear.
Common complaints include lower back pain, numbness or tingling in the fingers, legs or feet, and pain in the joints, particularly the hands and feet. If this sounds like you, youre not alone.
A lot of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience night-time pain. This pain is unpredictable. In fact, many of those who live with RA are so frustrated at the level of pain, which keeps them awake at night.
Mary Mann of describes in detail her experiences with rheumatoid arthritis pain worse at night.
Should I See A Doctor
Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.
So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?
If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor:
Learn To Manage Stress
Having arthritis can be stressful and stress can worsen pain, leading to a vicious cycle. Successfully managing stress could go a long way toward improving your arthritis symptoms. Find a relaxation technique that works for you, such as deep breathing or meditation, and practice it regularly. Talking with a therapist also can be helpful.
Tips For Using A Cane
When using a cane, remember the following tips:
- Ensure the cane isnt too tall or short. You shouldnt slump or slouch over when using a cane. Its height should come to the top of your wrist.
- Use the cane on your strong side. If your affected hip is your right one, hold the cane with your left hand. When you step forward with your right leg, the cane will provide support. Practice moving your affected leg and the cane at the same time.
- Advance the cane an appropriate distance. Move the cane about 2 inches to the front or side of you. If its too far from your body, you might lose balance.
A physical therapist can help you develop a safe technique.
Your insurance company may cover the cost of these aids. Your healthcare provider can write a prescription for these mobility aids to help in the reimbursement process.
Engage In Physical Activities
Research suggests exercising may help reduce joint pain and improve arthritis in some people.5 Exercising helps release feel-good hormones and can also help you feel relaxed and improve concentration. Exercises such as leg flutter kicks, arm/leg raises, and/or shoulder stretches are easy and can be performed at home.
If you do not like to exercise, performing daily activities that are joint-friendly are also a good way to stay active throughout the day. A few examples include:
- Taking the stairs
- Using a basket for light grocery shopping
- Tending your garden
Other Ways To Relieve Joint Pain
There are also many simple measures that can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness:
Heat and cold. Take a warm bath, apply cold compresses, or wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and hold them to your painful joints. Heat, cold, or alternating the two can be very effective at relieving pain.
Massage. Gently rubbing the joints can increase blood flow to the affected area and ease sore spots. Because arthritic joints can be sensitive, see a massage therapist who specializes in treating people with arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin. Although these nutritional supplements have been “fairly debunked as a potential disease-modifying therapy,” Dr. Aliprantis says, they may improve arthritis pain in some people. However, he points out, “if these supplements are not helping your pain, you should not continue to spend your money on them.”
And don’t forget about exerciseit’s one of the most effective ways to treat OA. Exercise can reduce pain, improve flexibility, strengthen the muscles that support the joints, and help you lose some of the weight that’s straining your joints. “I think it’s pretty clear that exercise is important for maintaining joint health and decreasing pain in patients who have OA,” Dr. Aliprantis says. Swimming and riding a stationary exercise bicycle are good exercises for people with OA, because they don’t put undue stress on already painful joints.
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What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands
There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.
Hot And Cold Treatments
Using either heat or cold treatments can reduce the stiffness and pain of arthritis.
Cold packs numb the sore area. They are especially good for severe joint pain and swelling caused by a flare . Heat treatments relax your muscles. You can use dry heat methods such as a heating pad or heat lamp or moist heat methods, such as a bath or hydrocollator pack.
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Natural Therapies For Arthritis Pain
Medication isn’t the only way to manage arthritis pain. Look at these eight natural therapies for arthritis.;
1. 8 Natural Therapies for Arthritis Pain
4. Tai Chi
6. Weight Loss
7. Physical Therapy
8. Topical Gels
Add Turmeric To Dishes
Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation.
It is one of the best Home Remedies for Knee Pain. In a study, it is found that adding turmeric to dishes helps in reducing inflammation in their joints.
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Tips To Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis Wrist Pain Naturally
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects all the joints of the body and, often times, the first joints that are affected are the wrists.
Pain, inflammation, and eventual loss of strength can occur.
Steps can be taken, however, to manage rheumatoid arthritis wrist pain and avoid the loss of function that could otherwise result.
Surprising Facts About Arthritis Pain
Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Did you know:
- Fewer than half of Americans with severe or moderate pain report that they have a “great deal of control” over their pain.
- Fewer than half of people who visit their doctor for pain believe that their doctor completely understands how their pain makes them feel.
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Eat These 9 Foods To Boost Your Immune System
The immune system is the bodys most powerful defensive system. It aids in theprevention of bacterial and viral illnesses. It aids in the recovery of your cells after youve been sick. It could be able tolessen the severity of an illness. Thats why its so important to keep an eyeon your immune system, especially when More
Beat Knee Arthritis Pain
You cannot undo the changes in the bone and cartilage associated with knee arthritis, but by using these top tips, you can help reduce the impact arthritis has on your life.
You can get more active, get back to doing the things you love, and reduce or maybe even abolish your knee arthritis pain altogether. Start today!
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Ra In The Wrist: How Do I Know If I Have Arthritis In My Wrist
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that occurs when the bodys natural immune system malfunctions and begins to attack the healthy tissue lining the joints. While any joint in the body can be affected, RA often starts in the joints of the wrists and hands, progressing to other joints over time. In fact, the wrist is the most common site for RA in the upper body, and usually, both wrists are involved. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, and the disease is about three times as common among women as among men.
Overall Mobility And Strength Therapy
Water therapy swimming and water aerobics are low-impact ways to obtain an overall body and hip strengthening while avoiding joint stress. Swimming and performing water exercises such as leg lifts, water jogging, and treading water will strengthen and stretch all of the muscles of the hips and can increase flexibility and improve mobility while decreasing pain.
Water exercises can be accomplished in any swimming pool or some whirlpools and it is better for therapy purposes if the pool is heated to a comfortable level as cold water can sometimes cause pain for arthritis hip pain patients.
4 Exercises to Reduce Arthritis Hip Pain, Last Update: 4/5/2017
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Exercise And Wise Use Of Joints
Another key to coping with pain is to follow an exercise program designed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Your exercise program should include special range-of-motion exercises to help keep your joints movable. It should also include general fitness exercise such as swimming or walking. These help keep your heart, lungs, bones and muscles strong. Exercise also helps relieve stiffness and gives you an improved sense of well-being. Here are some tips to help you exercise properly:
- If you have a flare, do only gentle range-of-motion exercises.
- Start with just a few exercises and slowly add more.
- Listen to your body. If it hurts too much or if you begin to have too much pain, stop the exercise. Ask your doctor or therapist to help you learn the difference between normal exercise discomfort and too much exercise pain.
Using joints wisely and saving energy
Using your joints wisely means doing everyday tasks in ways that reduce the stress on painful joints. Saving your energy means “listening” to your body for signals that it needs to rest. It also means learning to pace yourself so you don’t become too tired. Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:
Keeping Arthritis In Check
Arthritis can happen in any of the joints in your body, affect multiple joints at a time, and happen to anyone. The two most common types of arthritis are Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Check out the video below for a more detailed explanation of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for both RA and OA.
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Hand And Forearm Rinse Move To Release Pain And Stiffness
1. Place a soft ball on a flat, hard surface such as a table.
2. Sit in front of the table, making sure your shoulders are completely relaxed throughout the entire move.
3. Start at the tip of one finger, and slowly press the ball down the length of the finger all the way down until you get to point 4 over your wrist.
4. Repeat for each finger, starting at the top and working your way down to point 4 over your wrist.
5. Switch hands and repeat.
6. Repeat for each finger, but instead of stopping at the wrist, continue all the way to the elbow.
7. Switch hands and repeat.
This should be a very gentle movement, allowing you to massage all areas, Wilmarth says. You should ultimately get a rhythm going, though it might not be like that at first. Instead, it could be difficult and staccato. If you hit an area thats painful, instead of going through it, try to gently go up to that area, then back off. Try to go further and further each time without causing any pain. You may not be able to do a whole complete line as theyve drawn.
Daily Habits And Remedies For Arthritis Pain Relief
You might think of arthritis as a wear and tear ailment that affects the elderly.There are over 100 different varieties of arthritis, the most prevalentof which are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and it can affect people of all ages. Arthritis affects more than 54 million individuals in the United States, and it is the biggest More
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Use Hot And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatments can include taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning to help ease stiffness and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
- Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy over the counter. These products provide warmth that can soothe joint pain.
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
You may be able to minimize wear and tear on your joints with the right kinds of exercise even if you cant escape your genetics or the effects of age.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, primarily affects the hips, knees, shoulders, and hand joints. The cushiony cartilage at the end of bones wears away so that bone rubs on bone. The pain and swelling that result may make it more difficult to move and perform everyday activities.
Moderate exercise helps ease pain and stiffness in your joints. It strengthens your muscles, which in turn protects and supports your joints. Ifarthritis pain, swelling, and stiffness have tempted you to stop moving, think again, says the Arthritis Foundation.
Not exercising can cause your muscles to shrink and weaken and contribute to bones becoming more brittle and more prone to breaking.
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Sleep With A Thin Pillow
Sleep problems were actually how I discovered I have osteoarthritis in my neck, says Nancy B., 52, of Gig Harbor, Washington. For years, all she knew was that lifting her head, even a little, caused terrible pain and a night of no sleep. To keep her neck straight, she slept with the thinnest pillow possible. Last year she started having neck spasms, which lead her to get diagnosed with arthritis. Ive had to change a lot of things since my diagnosis, but the flat pillow has stayed. People think Im weird when they see my sad little pillow its actually a pillow designed for backpacking but its the only way I can sleep without my neck hurting, she explains.