Living with Arthritis? Here Are Some Tips for How to Stay Active!
Many of our patients would agree that arthritis-related joint pain is relentless. When trying to manage the pain, it can feel like a constant balancing act.
If you do too much, you feel it. If you don’t do enough, you also feel it.
Here at Paducah Rheumatology, our goal is to help you find that happy middle ground - a place between those two extremes that works best for your body and your specific abilities.
Let’s look at a few solutions that can ease the pain brought on by arthritis, especially if you work a desk job and find yourself sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.
Get Up and Move
It’s important not to stay in one position for too long. And our team of healthcare providers have a few tips on how to keep your body moving to help manage your arthritis.
Keep this in mind: Movement is your friend.
Joints get stiff and painful when they remain in the same position, as explained by a licensed physical therapist:
“Moving is essential if you are living with arthritis! Exercise helps to limit the pain and improve joint motion. It also boosts energy levels, improves strength to support your joints, and prevents falls and future injuries. Movement helps your joints be healthier. First, movement increases the synovial fluid in your joints which basically acts like oil that helps the joints move smoother. Second, exercise increases circulation in the body which increases circulation to the joints bringing good oxygen and nutrients to the joints.”
Adjust Your Activity Levels
Some days you will be able to tackle more than other days. Be patient with yourself.
If your body feels good, take the opportunity to move around a bit more. If you are having a down day, scale back your activity level.
Once again, it’s all about that balancing act. Staying stationary too long does more harm than good. The key is to keep your body in motion, even on those bad days.
But it's also important to be aware of your limitations and personal circumstances. Then, adjust your movement accordingly.
Stretch Your Body Daily
Stretching is extremely beneficial for a patient with a connective tissue disease or arthritis disease.
Patients that incorporate proper stretching techniques into their daily routine experience:
increased range of motion
improved blood circulation
decreased stress levels
There are multiple kinds of stretches and each type serves a different purpose. Stretches are designed to target specific areas of the body from the hips, knees, and back to the shoulders, arms, and neck.
Look at this WebMD article for a list of stretches geared toward individuals experiencing joint pain and stiffness from arthritis.
Set Attainable Goals and Celebrate Your Achievements
When you make a conscious effort to get up and move around, you are making an effort to reduce your arthritis pain.
When you try to utilize your good days, give yourself a pat on the back for doing so.
When you take the time to stretch and exercise your body, congratulate yourself for a job well done.
It is hard to live in pain. Arthritis is a difficult medical condition.
You are doing a great job through it all!
When you set realistic goals, you set yourself up for success. Try one new stretch a day. Take a ten-minute walk every morning. Be cautious of the habits that can make your arthritis pain worse, and then take action to improve yourself.
The healthcare team at Paducah Rheumatology is ready to help you feel your best! We want you to see positive results from your hard work and find ways to relieve your arthritis pain.
Give us a call today at 270-408-6100 to set up an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!