Having swollen and tender joints may not seem like that big of a deal to some. But for people living with ongoing arthritis, it’s a challenge every single day. Arthritis is painful, and unfortunately, there is no cure.
Even as discouraging a condition as arthritis can be, there are ways to lessen pain. To find what works best for you, though, you should first know some dos and don’ts.
Below is some guidance and what you should and shouldn’t do as you learn how to manage your arthritis pain.
Arthritis Pain Do’s
1. Try Natural Pain Management
If possible, it’s best to avoid taking a lot of over-the-counter medications like Advil. Ask your doctor to be sure, but taking OTD drugs once in a while shouldn’t cause any issues.
But, taking acetaminophen and other pain medications a lot can damage your kidneys. It also can cause stomach ulcers. So, ideally, you should only take non prescription pain relievers on an as-needed basis.
Due to the side effects of OTC medications, you may want to go the more natural route. Even if you’re in a lot of pain, natural pain management can still be effective. In particular, using cannabis and CBD are excellent ways to reduce pain.
2. Go to Therapy to Learn How to Handle Pain Mentally
Pain, unfortunately, can also affect you mentally. Therefore, many people who struggle with arthritis pain get cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). More specifically, this type of therapy combines talking and modifying negative behaviors. As you go to treatment, CBT can teach you how to respond better to your condition.
Since dealing with arthritis is challenging, it’s nice having a therapist to talk to. You can confide in a trained professional who understands your condition. And they can teach you how to combat cycles of self-defeating behaviors and thoughts.
Cognitive behavior therapy doesn’t work right away, though. Step by step, you’ll be on your way to retraining your mind. Soon, it’ll become a habit for you to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. And, you’ll know other new techniques so you can improve your outlook on life.
3. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
For any health condition, sleep dictates how your body recovers and feels.
If you’re struggling with getting enough rest, you need to come up with some solutions so you can sleep. As mentioned, cannabis is great for being more relaxed. Your doctor may have some suggestions as well.
A few other ideas to get more zzz’s in at night are as follows:
- Take a warm bath to wind down before bedtime.
- Avoid staring at bright screens right before you go to sleep.
- Find a comfortable mattress and pillow.
- Practice meditation before bedtime.
- Don’t drink caffeinated drinks late in the day.
Sleep is essential when you have arthritis and other painful health conditions. So, make it a priority of yours to get enough rest. That way, you’ll be able to wake up on the right side of the bed with a positive outlook on life!
Arthritis Pain Don’ts
1. Don’t Sit Around All Day
If you’re dealing with pain, your first reaction may be to relax and sit on the sofa. Unfortunately, while it may help you feel better temporarily, it can make things worse in the long run.
Making the time to get some exercise in, even in small amounts, can ease your arthritis symptoms. A few examples of low impact workouts that’ll benefit you are walking, water aerobics, and bike riding. Of course, gauge how you feel to see what works best depending on your pain level.
2. Don’t Have a Bad Attitude
It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel as if your arthritis will never improve. Even though it’s disheartening, though, doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.
If you find yourself getting stuck in a rut and not getting out much, remedy that. To feel better, participate in uplifting activities. A few excellent activities are spending time with family and focusing on the things you can do.
Even something like reading a book can lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.
3. Don’t Smoke
If you’re a smoker, smoking can make your arthritis worse. Smoking and having arthritis make it more challenging to find a treatment that works. And in some cases, people are less likely to respond to medications positively.
So, if you smoke, even occasionally, you should seriously consider stopping. Not only will it improve your arthritis, but it’ll prevent other severe health conditions like lung cancer.
You may not be able to get rid of arthritis pain altogether. But, thankfully, with various treatments available, it’s possible to live a happy life.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re struggling with arthritis and you’re in pain all the time.
Now’s not the time to give up hope. Instead, with different ways to improve arthritis, you should figure out what works best for you.