Arthritis and chronic joint symptoms are the leading cause of disability among adult Americans. Seventy million Americans are estimated to have some type of joint pain. While your doctor can discuss your diagnosis and possible treatment plans, there are also everyday things you can do to help ease arthritis pain:
■ Lose weight, if recommended by your doctor.
■ Exercise daily with gentle stretching and relaxation. Strengthening (resistance) and cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises are helpful for most people. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
■ Pace yourself. Rest when you need to, and understand your limitations.
■ Be aware of how a joint moves, and carefully monitor any twisting motions.
■ Change positions frequently. Don’t remain in the same spot for a long time.
■ When lifting or pushing, distribute the weight to as many joints as possible. Use both arms to lift a package, for example.
■ Use warm and cold treatments such as ice packs or heating pads to alleviate morning stiffness.
— Source: Ohio State University