Living with arthritis
Since arthritis has no cure, changes in lifestyle are required to cope with the disease. These changes do not completely alleviate the pain and suffering but decrease them and slow down the damage.
Patients should exercise regularly following the suggestions of the doctor and the physiotherapist. Exercise helps to develop the muscles around the joint, which improves range of motion and decreases some of the pain over a period of time. If the exercise causes intense pain, the patient must stop and see the doctor.
Heat / Cold application
Heat application may relieve pain or relax the muscles. Generally, a hot water bag or even a hot water bath may help. Cold may numb the pain and decrease muscle spasms. Ice massage or soaking the joint in cold water may help. Icing is not recommended if the blood circulation is already decreased.
Other pain relief
The most common advice given is not to stay in same position for long. Avoid movements that cause pain since they damage the joints. Use assistive devices, if necessary.
One of the important areas is to control weight by proper eating and other lifestyle modifications. The joints bear the entire weight of the body, and it’s important to protect them by reducing weight or maintaining an appropriate weight.