If you suffer from arthritis, you know how the pain can interfere with your daily activities. But do you know what triggers the pain?
You need to reduce the pain -- not induce it -- which is why the first step in managing arthritic pain, whether it's acute or chronic, lies in recognizing the triggers and taking the right measures to nip the problem in the bud. Here are some tips on avoiding common triggers:
- Overdoing it is asking for it. You wake up to a pile of laundry, head out to a pile of work and return home to more undone housework. As you paddle your way against the tide of neverending drudgery, you start to feel pain. "No pain, no gain," you chant as you trudge on ... for you have only three of the long list of 10 chores left!
Stop right there. Don't push yourself. Not pacing yourself throughout the day can cause unnecessary pain in your joints. So listen to your body when it's telling you "time-out".
Balance is the key. In the middle of the work day, do you stop and take a breather? While doing the household chores, do you know how to reserve a moment for yourself to simply R&R (rest and relax)? Sometimes, it takes more courage and is wiser to retreat from a battle than to fight to the end.
A tired, worn-out body is a hospitable home for pain. So give yourself a break every so often to break the cruel cycle of "tiredness to pain to more weariness to even greater pain!"
Get moving. Staying sedentary is risky, and most agerelated stiffness is the result of inactivity. Stretch every once in a while as it keeps your muscles and ligaments strong and the joints supple.Some people think exercises will make arthritis worse. That is NOT true! Physical activity of the gentle, low-impact kind (e.g. swimming, walking, bicycling, etc.) actually helps ease and decrease chronic pain. You need to keep muscles toned, build strength and maintain joint flexibility or muscle atrophy will occur. Don't let it get to this point as more pain will result.Watch your weight. For every pound you put on, about four to five pounds are added to your knees when you walk. On the other hand, shave 10 pounds off the scales and your joints will be relieved of approximately 35 pounds of stress. If you're overweight, you put undue pressure on your joints and increase your chances of pain. It's therefore vital to watch your weight and take control of your diet.Support your joints. Try standing completely still for an hour with both soles flat on the ground. Hard, isn't it? When we change positions, we're not just making ourselves comfortable. We're shifting the weight from one joint to another to re-balance the load. Some other ways to protect our joints include using devices and wearing supports, using the strongest and largest joint possible when doing a specific task, avoiding sudden, jerky movements and excessive stress on the small joints of the hand, not lifting heavy things and adjusting your activity level to your pain level.Remember the power of the mind. Pessimism tends to feed pain. Not dealing with negative emotions will make you less likely to respond to medication, treatment or exercise. The crux of the matter is that battles are first won in the mind. Don't withdraw under a cloud of depression, and become an island unto yourself. Get to know other arthritic sufferers. Share your load. Half the battle is won when you realize you're not alone.Think cod liver oil. According to studies, the fatty acids found abundantly in the oil can switch off enzymes that break down cartilage (the smooth protective coating in our bodies that buffers the impact of bones grinding against each other whenever we move).Cod liver oil has been consumed for generations to alleviate joint stiffness and pain even before scientific studies were made. If you want healthy, limber joints, it wouldn't hurt to give the time-tested oil a try.Now that you know what will prevent arthritis pain, you can take steps to avoid bringing on the joint ache before it starts. Source: New Straits Times. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. Powered by Yellowbrix.