Important tips for arthritis Pain Management

Effective arthritis pain management is vital to enjoying a high quality of life.

Pain is an unavoidable part of arthritis, although very little is known about what exactly contributes to aches and pains in the joints.

Currently, pain management therapies are limited in their effectiveness. Often, pain is managed with painkillers. But, long term use of certain drugs has undesirable side effects.

Experts are of the view that, “one of the reasons for this lack of effective pain management is the paucity in our knowledge of what actually causes joint pain.”

Factors that affect arthritis pain:

No arthritis pain management program is complete without a basic awareness of factors that can increase arthritic pain.

    Weather

    According to several studies, humidity, pressure and temperature has a direct impact on arthritis pain. Low temperatures and high humidity contributed to increased pain.

    The John Hopkins Health Alerts reports of two such studies about the correlation between weather and arthritis pain. Interesting, the studies came out with conflicting results.

    Another study shows that patients had a strong belief that arthritis pain is affected by the weather, which in turn led to them experiencing increased pain during harsh weather.

    In any case, people living in warm weather experience less pain.

    Mind over pain:

    Several studies have shown that what the patient thinks or their psychology has an impact on the intensity of pain and the functional mobility of patients.

    Interestingly, pain contributes to depression and negative thoughts, just as depression, feelings of helplessness and frustration lead to higher levels of inflammation and pain.

    Other factors:

    A number of factors like being overweight, reduced immunity, physical stress and the type of food intake are also seen to affect the intensity of pain suffered by arthritis patients.

Arthritis pain management:

Keeping the above in mind, certain tips can boost effective arthritis pain management:

  • Gentle exercise is vital in reducing inflammation and stiffness. Of all the exercises prescribed for arthritis, swimming seems to be the most beneficial. Tai-Chi and Yoga are other forms of beneficial exercises for arthritis pain management. Warning: Do not overexert as this can make the pain worse.
  • Well-rounded nutrition is a must to reduce inflammation and keep pain under control. The rules are simple: plenty of vegetables, fruits and grains. Limit alcohol, fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt. This also keeps body weight under control. Use a multivitamin supplement.
  • Eat foods rich in fiber as this collects inflammation causing toxins and releases them outside the body.
  • Natural remedies like the Capsaicin cream (which contains constituents from hot peppers) limit the transmission of pain signals naturally. Gingerroots or ginger extracts have anti-inflammatory properties too.
  • Bad posture is another common cause of pain. For effective arthritis pain management, make it a point to sit and stand right. Using the right kinds of shoes and clothes also help.
  • Manage aches and pains through a combination of heat and cold therapy. Cold treatments are good for sudden flare-ups and hot treatments are good for those times when you feel achy for long periods.

Pain may be unavoidable if you suffer from arthritis, but you can surely help bring down the intensity, duration and rate of occurrence of pain.

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