Living with arthritis can be a challenging journey, as it brings chronic pain and discomfort that can impact every aspect of our lives. As we celebrate World Arthritis Day today which is 12th October 2023, it is the time to reinforce the theme for this year- “Living with an RMD at all stages of life”.
RMD ( Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease) can not only cause joint pains and disability but can also affect other vital organs of the body like the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. While there is no magic cure for arthritis, we can make thoughtful choices to manage and alleviate the symptoms. In this blog, we will explore seven common habits that tend to make arthritis pain worse. These tips will empower you to break these habits, find relief, and improve your overall well-being.
Sedentary Lifestyle and Lack of Exercise
Hey, it’s tempting to curl up on the couch and avoid physical activity when arthritis pain strikes. But did you know that leading a sedentary lifestyle can actually worsen the pain? Engaging in regular exercise helps keep your joints lubricated, strengthens the muscles around them, and reduces pain in the long run. Incorporate low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, or even gentle yoga into your routine. Start small, and gradually increase the time and intensity as your body allows. Remember, small steps can lead to big improvements!
Poor Dietary Choices
We all love indulging in unhealthy treats every now and then, but consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugary snacks, and unhealthy fats can increase your body weight and also lead to inflammation in your body, leading to more pain and discomfort. Opting for an anti-inflammatory diet, on the other hand, can work wonders in managing arthritis symptoms. Fuel yourself with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. And guess what? You can still enjoy flavorful meals! Explore delicious recipes that incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients. Your taste buds and joints will thank you.
Read more about the Anti-inflammatory diet here
Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are habits we all know are best avoided. But did you know they can worsen your arthritis pain too? Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), while alcohol can exacerbate inflammation and joint pain. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can have a positive impact on your arthritis symptoms and overall health. Seek support from friends, family, or healthcare professionals if needed. Remember, you have the power to make positive changes for your well-being.
Not using Proper Joint Protection
Have you ever lifted heavy objects without considering the strain it puts on your joints? Ignoring proper joint protection practices can intensify your arthritis pain. Take the time to learn and implement techniques that will protect your joints. Simple adjustments like maintaining good posture, using assistive devices when necessary, and taking regular breaks during repetitive activities can go a long way in reducing pain and preventing further joint damage. Be kind to your joints, and they will reward you with less pain and greater mobility.
Inadequate Rest and Sleep
Arthritis pain can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep, which in turn can worsen your pain levels. It’s a vicious cycle! But fear not, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality and break free from this pattern. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment can work wonders. Don’t underestimate the power of a calming cup of herbal tea, soothing music, or a warm bath before bed. Prioritize restful sleep and allow your body the time it needs to heal and rejuvenate.
Ignoring Emotional Well-being and Excessive Stress
Life can be stressful, and dealing with arthritis pain adds an extra layer of difficulty. But did you know that excessive stress can intensify your pain? It’s time to prioritize your emotional well-being. Find healthy ways to manage stress by incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Whether it’s deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy, make time for activities that help you unwind. Seek support from loved ones or consider joining a support group to connect with others who understand your journey. Remember, a calm mind can contribute to a calm body.
Not seeking Medical Treatment for Arthritis
It’s easy to believe that you can handle arthritis pain alone, but seeking professional assistance can make a world of difference. Rheumatologists, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals have the knowledge and expertise to guide you on your arthritis management journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out for their support and advice. They can provide personalized strategies and treatment options to help alleviate your pain and improve your overall quality of life. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone; there are people ready to help you every step of the way.
The Role of Homeopathy
My personal experience in treating Arthritis (especially RA ) as a Homeopathic Doctor has been very encouraging and I have found that Homeopathic treatment along with the above lifestyle changes can do the following
- Reduce Pain and Swelling
- Prevent further deterioration of joints and other vital organs and sometimes even improve organ function
- Prevent further disability
- Reduce and most of the times completely eradicate the need for painkillers
- Improve the quality of life greatly
Breaking the habits that make arthritis pain worse is within your reach. By incorporating exercise, following an anti-inflammatory diet, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, practicing proper joint protection, prioritizing sleep, managing stress, and seeking professional assistance, you can effectively manage your arthritis symptoms and enhance your overall well-being. Let us not forget, change takes time and perseverance, but with every step you take towards breaking these habits, you’re one step closer to a better life with less pain and more joy.
Together, let’s break the cycle and reclaim control over our arthritis pain!
Do share this information if you or your loved ones suffer from Arthritis.
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