Cold weather helps my arthritis. When I eat raisins soaked in gin, I feel better. Slurping a sip of cider vinegar helps with my pain. If you suffer from arthritis, no doubt you’ve heard some of these statements. As with many conditions, searching for successful ways to deal with arthritis through mainstream and alternative methods is very common. If you’re asking yourself- what can help my arthritis, we’ll try to clear up a few of the most popular misconceptions for you.
Fact or Fiction? There is no cure for arthritis
True. There is no cure for arthritis; however, the discomfort and pain can be managed through medication, heat, splints, braces, adaptive devices and learning new ways to accomplish everyday tasks and activities.
Fact or Fiction? The weather makes a difference in how my joints feel
Fact. There’s a reason people move to Arizona. Dry, warm weather reduces joint pain. When the humidity is high and barometric pressure is low, particularly just before a storm, if you have arthritis you may feel increased pain or stiffness. If you live in a hot, humid climate, a dehumidifier in your home can help. Most air conditioning systems also help reduce humidity, run it during the day and even overnight to help you sleep comfortably.
Fact or Fiction? My diet makes a difference in my arthritis symptoms and how I feel
Fact. Excess weight puts more stress on your joints. Keeping your weight in check helps protect them. While gin-soaked raisins may taste good, are high in vitamin C and may have some anti-inflammatory compounds, there is no evidence to support claims of relieving arthritis pain. Claims for diets that avoid dairy and citrus or tout an all-raw diet are also not supported by research. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a mix of grains and proteins makes good sense for everyone.
Fact or Fiction? I can’t exercise because I have arthritis
Fiction. Movement, including gently stretching, is important to increase strength and flexibility. Exercising also reduces the pain and stiffness in your joints and helps decrease overall tiredness. You just have to think about how you work out. If running aggravates the arthritis in your knees and makes them ache, switch to a less intense and less weight-bearing exercise like swimming, biking or yoga. Always consult with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Fact or Fiction? Nothing will reduce the pain of my arthritis
Fiction. Heat, ice, prescription and non-prescription medicines, topical ointments and splints can all help alleviate the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Cold and heat can both help when dealing with arthritis pain. Using heat in the morning relaxes muscles and reduces stiffness. Using ice at night lessens joint inflammation
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can also be very beneficial in helping to control arthritis pain. Non-prescription medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, help control pain and swelling. Prescription medications, like COX-2 inhibitors, anti-TNF compounds, steroids, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help reduce swelling and pain and can prevent further damage. Speak with your health care provider to make sure you are taking the right medication and the right dose, as even nonprescription drugs can be harmful or ineffective if you are not taking them correctly.
Properly worn splints, braces, wraps and gloves provide support to help you move easier and in some cases can also help to reduce inflammation. Oval-8 Finger Splints support and protect your fingers to help correct problems caused by arthritis and the 3pp Design Line Thumb Splint can help lessen your thumb pain- fashionably.
Choose splints carefully as a splint that limits motion may be great when you sleep but could cause more problems if you wear it to work in the garden. Check out our entire line of Arthritis Splints – with different levels of supportLike what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
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Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.