Requested by Age2B visitor
Many people who have arthritis or a related disease may be living with chronic pain. Pain is chronic when it lasts three to six months or longer, but arthritis pain can last a lifetime. It may be constant, or it may come and go. Chronic pain can make it hard to perform daily activities like cleaning the house, dressing, or looking after your kids. However, there are ways to effectively manage chronic arthritis pain.
Follow these tips to help you feel better and learn from people who have experienced chronic pain from arthritis:
1. Take Your Medications
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs recommended by your doctor can help control inflammation and pain. If you have side effects that keep you from taking your medications, or if you have trouble affording their cost, speak to your doctor. There may be other options.
2. Manage Your Weight
Excess weight can cause more pressure on the weight-bearing joints and increase pain. Plus, adipose tissue (aka fat) sends out chemical signals that increase inflammation. Being overweight is bad for your overall health, as it increases your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. Make sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and lean protein, such as beans, poultry, and fish. Stay away from processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks.
3. Stay Active
In addition to helping control weight, activities like walking, water aerobics at your local gym, or yoga can help reduce joint pain and improve flexibility, balance, and strength. Cardiovascular exercise, like biking on a stationary bike, also helps keep your heart in shape. If you are new to exercise, talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out what may be best for you. With exercise, you will also feel more energetic, and it will improve your sleep.
4. Keep a Positive Attitude
Many people with chronic arthritis pain find that a positive attitude can significantly boost their ability to cope with pain. Try not to give in to pain. Find ways to keep your mind off it. Do the things you enjoy – like a hobby or spending time with family and friends – to keep your spirits high. If you need additional support, seek out a therapist or ask your doctor about how hypnosis, meditation, and breathing techniques can help you ease your pain.