Arthritis is a common disease that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. The condition can lead to long-term pain and can become more disabling as it progresses. There are, however, several ways you can ease symptoms and manage arthritis more effectively.
What Causes Arthritis?
Joints are constantly exposed to low-level damage as part of everyday living. Usually, the body can repair this damage, but with arthritis, this isn’t the case, and the tissues within joints can gradually deteriorate over time. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis causes the protective cartilage that cushions the bones within the joints to gradually wear away. If it wears away completely, it can lead to painful bone-on-bone rubbing. The aging process, obesity, sex, joint injuries, repeated stress on a joint, and genetics are some of the factors that can increase your risk of the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the joints along with other body systems including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The condition occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the membranes of the joint lining, causing pain and inflammation, bone erosion, and joint malalignment and deformity.
Easing Chronic Pain
Arthritis can make it difficult to carry out many day-to-day activities. Arthritis that affects weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and ankles, can make walking and climbing stairs painful and challenging. Arthritis that affects joints in the hands can make simple activities such as opening a jar or doing up buttons arduous. In order to help ease chronic pain, there are a few tips you can follow.
Manage Your Weight
Being overweight can make arthritis symptoms in weight-bearing joints worse as it can put more pressure on these joints. Too much body fat is also thought to increase inflammation within the body. Increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet can help you lose excess weight, prevent weight gain, and improve symptoms.
Watch What You Eat
A healthy and balanced diet is recommended if you suffer from arthritis. It can help to reduce pain and inflammation as well as improve your overall health and mood. Try to eat low-fat foods as well as foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This includes berries, nuts, olives, garlic, green leafy vegetables, and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, which are most beneficial. Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are also thought to help if you suffer from arthritis.
Exercise can sound like a daunting prospect when living with chronic pain arthritis. In fact, low-impact activities, such as walking, water aerobics, yoga, cycling, and swimming, can help reduce joint pain and improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Engaging in physical activity can also help to manage weight, reduce stress, and improve areas such as mood and sleep, which can all help to improve quality of life. Keeping active doesn’t have to be strenuous, and it is important to build up slowly if you are not used to exercising. Be aware of your limits and try to reduce, modify, or avoid activities that increase your pain or cause a flare-up of symptoms. If you are unsure which exercise is best for you, speak with your doctor.
Treatments for Arthritis
There are a variety of treatments available for arthritis. Treatments can vary, depending on the severity and type of arthritis you have. Treatment can include:
- Over-the-counter and prescription pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications
- Interventional pain management
- Physical therapy
- Minimally invasive therapies
Interventional Pain Management
If you have chronic pain arthritis, a pain management doctor can help to treat and manage your symptoms effectively. They offer a range of sophisticated and evidence-based interventional pain management procedures and minimally invasive therapies to treat chronic pain. Interventional pain management can be an effective alternative treatment to more invasive treatments and surgery. Treatments for arthritis can include:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Viscosupplementation injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
- Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation
Chronic Pain Relief in Melbourne, FL
If you have chronic pain associated with arthritis, contact Central Florida Spine and Pain to find out how we can help you. Our compassionate team will work with you to successfully address your pain. We offer a range of effective conservative and minimally invasive therapies to relieve your symptoms and help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.