Arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints that impair a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Arthritis isn’t a single disease, it refers to around 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are two main types of Arthritis. Osteoarthritis results from wear-and-tear damage to a joint’s cartilage. Cartilage present at the ends of the bones helps cushion and allow near frictionless joint motion. But enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone causing pain and restricted movement. Rheumatoid Arthritis is when the body’s immune system cells accumulate at the lining of the joint. This causes the lining to get inflamed and swollen. The disease can gradually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
By understanding the risk factors for arthritis, we understand how to manage it better.
● Family history, Arthritis sometimes runs in families. If you have parents or siblings who have the disorder then you’re more likely to develop the disease too.
● Age. The possibility of many types of arthritis like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout, increases as you grow older.
● Your sex. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, another type of arthritis, are men.
● Previous joint injury. People who may have previously had an injury on a joint are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
● Obesity. Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Hence, obese people are at a higher risk of developing arthritis.
● Other Factors. Many other factors include abnormal metabolism, infections, and immune system dysfunction.
How to manage Arthritis at home?
First & foremost, if you have pain in or around a joint or joints that doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see a doctor. You need to find out what’s causing your pain to zero in on the right treatment and self-help options. Given that, there are many options to manage arthritis at home, they are-
- Manage your weight
Your weight plays a major role in arthritis symptoms. More weight implies more pressure on your joints, especially your knees, hips, and feet. Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight can help improve your mobility, decrease pain, prevent future damage to your joints.
- Get enough exercise
Being the right weight for your build and height isn’t enough, you have to make sure your bones and muscles are fit and healthy. By exercising regularly, you keep your joints flexible, strengthen muscles around your joints. Although people with arthritis may experience an increase in pain when first beginning exercise, continuing the physical activity can effectively reduce symptoms.
- Use hot and cold therapy
Heat treatments include taking a long, warm shower in the morning to ease stiffness and using a moist heating pad or electric blanket to reduce discomfort overnight. If heat is not your style, cold treatments like wrapping a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and applying it on painful joints can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Capsaicin, the spicy part of chilli peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy in medical shops. These products provide warmth to the affected area and help soothe joint pain.
- Use meditation to cope with pain
Meditation and relaxation techniques help reduce the pain of arthritis by lowering stress, resulting in lower inflammation and pain. Anxiety, stress, and depression are all common complications of conditions that involve chronic pain, such as arthritis and meditation will help you keep it in control.
- Follow a healthy diet
Make sure you consume fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods to help boost your immune system and overall health. A plant-based diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation by eliminating free radicals from the body. Whereas red meat, processed foods, saturated fat and added sugar and salt may aggravate inflammation. They also contribute to other health conditions like obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, so it is better to avoid these if you have arthritis.
- Add turmeric to dishes
Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests adding a small amount of this mild but tasty spice to your dinner may help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation.
At Prakriya Hospitals we feel healthcare is not a privilege but a basic right of every human being. Our comprehensive healthcare unit aims at coupling the best specialists and equipment at affordable costs to bring about a significant change in the healthcare sector of India.