Arthritis is one of the most common disabilities in the United States, affecting about 21 million adults, according to a National Health Interview Survey from 2007-2009. Arthritis is a term used to describe hundreds of rheumatic diseases and conditions, from fibromyalgia to rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions affect the joints, tissue around the joints, and other connective tissue.
Since this disability is so widespread in America, it is important that people with arthritis take the necessary precautions to ease their pain and joint stress. While arthritis is incurable, there are steps people can take to ensure their safety, health, and comfort.
Be Conscious of Medications
Many anti-inflammatory medications taken by arthritis sufferers have dangerous interactions with over-the-counter medication. It is important to discuss every medication you take with your doctor.
Prescription arthritis medication also has serious side effects. The most commonly used arthritis medications, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), are known to cause stomach problems, heart attacks, and strokes. These side effects can be combated by taking the prescription with food or antacids.
DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) are more invasive than NSAIDs and can cause kidney and liver damage. It is important to take frequent blood tests when taking DMARDs.
Protect Your Joints
The use of splints and braces can aid in joint protection. There are other assistive devices like jar openers, raised toilet seats, and “grabbers” that can be used to accomplish basic tasks.
Good posture can also protect the back and joints, as well. Practicing proper body mechanics will make your body move more efficiently. If you work in an office, use wrist support while typing. When you’re sitting down, be sure to have both back and foot support.
Regular exercise can improve joint flexibility and make them stronger. Water exercises reduce the stress on joints. Look to the internet for exercise options http://arthritis.answers.com/management arthritis management.
It has been proven that weight loss can significantly reduce the stress on weight-bearing joints. Losing weight can improve mobility and decrease the need for joint replacement in the future.
Get Proper Sleep
The pain and difficulty that comes with walking can reduce the energy level of arthritis sufferers. In order for a person with arthritis to function at a higher level (both mentally and physically), they must get a proper amount of sleep.
According to the http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/ Center for Disease Control (CDC), people with arthritis are at a higher risk for respiratory infections and the flu. Also, adding Omega-3 fatty acids will greatly decrease stiffness. They naturally reduce inflammation in the body.
Vitamin C is another helpful addition to a diet. It helps the body build collagen and connective tissue. Using olive oil when cooking, instead of butter or other oils. Oleocanthal, the compound found in olive oil, works to prevent inflammation and provides about as much relief as a dose of ibuprofen.
By Liam Garcia