Arthritis Pain and Symptom Management

Jun 22, 2021

If you suffer from arthritis, you want to know about arthritis pain and symptom management. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is a group of more than 100 different ailments. Many people experience arthritis as stiffness and joint pain, but all forms can make daily life more challenging.

Many kinds of arthritis can be managed; losing weight, making dietary changes, and exercise may be helpful in reducing pain, stiffness and inflammation. Prescription medicines may also be needed to manage your arthritis symptoms.

Here, read practical suggestions for living with an arthritis diagnosis, including exercise, lifestyle, and medical diet recommendations.


What is Arthritis?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that by the year 2040, 25 percent of adults in the U.S. will have received an arthritis diagnosis.

The root cause of arthritic pain and joint stiffness is inflammation. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) reports that the presence and location of inflammation is one of the ways that doctors separate one form of arthritis from others. Most commonly, patients suffer from osteoarthritis or, more simply, inflammation caused by the wear-and-tear of life or injuries on cartilage and bones.

The next most common form is rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmunity, or the body’s repeated actions of attacking its own tissues, is the underlying cause. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect joints or body organs but, most frequently, it’s visible in patients’ fingers and wrists.

Juvenile arthritis occurs in children. The CDC reports that medical researchers don’t fully understand the juvenile form of arthritis but, as with rheumatoid arthritis above, autoimmune disease may be the culprit.


Is Arthritis Preventable?

Certain inherited factors, e.g. genes, may be risk factors for arthritis but, as of this writing, genes are beyond our control.

However, some lifestyle factors that may put you at risk for arthritis, such as smoking, are modifiable. It’s possible to reduce your risk of developing arthritis through smoking cessation.

Body weight, food choices, exercise regimens, proper posture and dental hygiene are other lifestyle issues that are modifiable. By creating good habits, it’s possible to lower the possibility of developing arthritis and improve joint and bone health as you get older.


How Do I Manage Arthritis Pain?

Once an individual develops arthritis, he or she has the condition for life. At that point, it’s crucial to control the symptoms of arthritis as best as possible.

Improving arthritis pain may be an ongoing journey. With professional medical care, the CDC reports it’s possible for most arthritis sufferers to increase the number of “good” days.

Managing arthritis pain involves taking prescription medicines to reduce inflammation and stress management techniques (including taking physical exercise each day and using massage or other alternative therapies) can make a significant difference for patients with arthritis.


What Should I Eat to Improve My Arthritis?

Some foods, especially fruits and vegetables, may help patients to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Diets that include anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, vegetables and fruits may dually soothe inflammation while supporting the patient’s heart health and weight management efforts.

Additionally, avoiding fried foods; foods high high in sugar, salt and fat; and alcoholic beverages can help to reduce inflammation and, as a result, arthritis pain.


How Can I Reduce Arthritis Symptoms?

Exercise of any type might be challenging if you suffer from arthritis, but CDC researchers report that even gentle exercises, such as stretching or yoga, can help alleviate stiffness and joint pain.

Additionally, regular exercise may improve your joint and bone health and reduce the pain associated with arthritis. It may improve your quality of life overall.

If exercise is something new to you, see your doctor first. Start slowly and prepare for soreness, but don’t be deterred. Experiment until you find a form of enjoyable exercise, then stick with it.

Sarasota Arthritis Center supports patients by advising them about safe and effective ways to manage or reduce arthritis symptoms. Call us now to schedule a consultation.

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