Five Ways to Improve Achy Joints
What is arthritis?
Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling that interferes with daily activities could be a sign of arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. Symptoms usually develop over time, but they may also appear suddenly. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
What causes arthritis?
Arthritis is caused by the breakdown of the connective tissue in your joints. This breakdown could be from normal wear and tear, or the result of an injury or disease in the joint.
What are the signs?
Common symptoms include joint pain or swelling, joint tenderness or stiffness (especially in the morning), reduced ability to move the joint, and joints that are red or warm to touch.
5 ways to improve achy joints
1. Eat a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your joints.
2. Exercise regularly
Moderate exercise can help strengthen muscles around joints.
3. Make activities in your home easier
Installing grab bars in the shower, the tub, and near the toilet can make activities easier if you suffer from arthritis.
4. Reduce pain
Rest between activities, and apply heat or cold to reduce pain and stiffness in joints. Massage therapy and acupuncture may be able to reduce pain from arthritis.
5. Talk to your doctor
Medications, vitamins, and mineral supplements may be able to help. Over the counter medications for arthritis pain relief such as Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, or cream containing capsaicin may be able to relieve arthritis pain. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
The two main types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to your joint’s cartilage as a result of wear and tear. This can occur over many years and results in pain and decreased joint movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack a thin membrane that lines the joints. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown but a combination of genetics, hormones, and environmental factors are believed to contribute to causing rheumatoid arthritis.
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