Pain is unpleasant and can undermine people's daily lives. This is especially true when the pain becomes chronic. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than 3 to 6 months.
Arthritis and osteoarthritis are causes of chronic pain. Arthritis encompasses several diseases that affect the joints. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is characterized by the wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the bones.
In addition to medications, several lifestyle changes can help to better control chronic pain caused by arthritis and osteoarthritis. The following article outlines ways to improve chronic pain management.
Good habits to help relieve symptoms
Adopting healthy eating habits will have a beneficial impact on your overall health and pain management. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce joint damage. Even a small weight loss can have a major positive impact on your joints.
Having an active lifestyle will help you maintain a healthy weight; it will also help you increase your flexibility and muscle tone. Of course, it is important to do exercises adapted to your condition and listen to your body. If the pain is too intense, it may be better to decrease the intensity.
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise also positively affects your morale.
Muscle strengthening exercises
Increasing muscle tone makes joints better supported and less likely to be injured. You don't have to lift heavy weights to strengthen your muscles. The goal is not to become a bodybuilder. You will want to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture.
Stretching on a daily basis helps to improve joint mobility. This also helps to reduce pain and stiffness. Be careful, it is not necessary to stretch excessively, do not stretch until you are in pain. It is useless and potentially dangerous. Several stretching exercises are available in the free PSST Osteoarthritis guide.
Just like a motor, our joints need to move. Endurance exercises keep joints lubricated and mobile. These exercises can also help maintain a healthy weight over the long term.
Cycling, swimming and yoga are gentle exercises for the joints. They should be added to your weekly routine. It's best to schedule your workouts in your calendar so that you have more time to exercise.
Ice or heat therapy?
Ice is beneficial in situations involving inflammation. Heat is preferred for relaxing tense muscles. Some people prefer one or the other; apply what feels good. The important thing is to protect the skin and not apply ice or heat directly to the bare skin.
Some pain medications are available without a prescription. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen come to mind. Before starting a treatment, it is always best to consult your healthcare professional to ensure that the product is right for you.
Although they do not replace drug treatments, natural products can still be tried to improve pain relief. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most studied natural products for pain. Although they are natural products, this does not mean that they are risk-free. Be sure to check with your healthcare professional to determine if a product can help. If no beneficial effect is perceived after a few weeks of use, it is preferable to stop taking it.
A few topical products (creams or ointments) can be helpful in relieving pain. Some contain anti-inflammatories, and others contain menthol or capsaicin. Always check with your healthcare professional and follow the dosage.
There are several prescription medications available for the treatment of arthritis. These include anti-inflammatory drugs and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). More and more expensive biologic medications are being used to treat arthritis. In many cases, a combination of treatments will be required to achieve adequate pain control. The prescriber will ensure that the minimum effective dose of medication is used to achieve satisfactory relief with the least amount of side effects.
Don't suffer in silence. Talk to your healthcare professional today.