Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of the joints. There are many forms of arthritis, including the common form of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid – but the main complaint from sufferers of all kinds of arthritis is joint pain.
Looking after your joints
Joint pain affects everyone differently. While some people suffer from mild stiffness, other peoples’ experiences can be more severe. Many individuals with arthritis and other joint-related conditions need to make lifestyle changes.
Here are just some of the things you can do to help manage your condition:
Physical activity can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. It can also help you to lose any additional weight that’s putting strain on your joints. Adults should get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week for optimal health. Muscle strengthening activities should also be performed on two or more days per week to improve mobility and help muscles to support the joints. Stretching exercises should also be done regularly to ease aches and pains and improve flexibility.
Exercising little and often is recommended. Walking to the shops, vacuuming the floor, walking up and down the stairs and gardening are just some of the ways you can keep you and your joints healthy at home. If you are new to exercise or are not sure what level of physical activity you should be aiming to do, see your doctor for advice.
Exercise should be balanced with rest in order to reduce damage to your joints. While physical activity is vital to your joint health, you must ensure that you pace yourself and avoid overdoing it.
If you have joint pain after exercise that continues for more than two hours, your enthusiasm may have got the better of you. Be sure to see a doctor to limit any damage caused.
Paying close attention to your diet is vital if you are to manage your pain successfully. To get all the vitamins and minerals you need to support your joints and maintain a healthy weight, it’s essential to eat a well-balanced diet. You should aim to include lots of starchy foods, such as potatoes, bread, pasta and rice, in your diet. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein-rich foods, like meat, fish, cheese and beans, and some milk and dairy are important too. Foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt should be avoided. There is evidence that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can help to relieve symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. For this reason, sufferers are advised to try to eat oily fish twice a week.
There is now a range of equipment available that is designed to help people with joint pain. Making simple changes such as using a lightweight iron or a chunky-grip pen can make a massive difference to your ability to carry out routine chores. People with arthritis can also use bath seats, raised toilet seats, stairlifts and mobility scooters to maintain their independence. Riser recliner chairs and adjustable beds that use NHC Cyclo-Therapy massage technology can also relieve discomfort from arthritis and improve suffers’ quality of life by helping them to get a better night’s sleep.
Use your joints carefully
Simply being mindful of how you use your joints can help to reduce pain levels too. For example, when picking things up, ensure you use your elbows and forearms rather than than your wrists. Similarly, when pushing a door open, use your shoulders rather than your hand. You should also be careful not to grip items too tightly. If you cannot hold something loosely, use padding to expand your grip. To avoid lifting heavy items, try to slide them across a surface where possible.
Sitting in the same position can cause joints to seize up and become sore. To avoid problems, change position regularly and take frequent breaks from sitting to move around and loosen your joints.
While living with joint pain can be difficult at times, by making small changes to your lifestyle and taking advantage of the wide range of tools and technologies designed to help sufferers, you can significantly reduce your discomfort and boost your wellbeing.
How we can help
Our arthritis chairs and beds all contain NHC Cyclo-Therapy Technology and are designed to offer arthritis pain relief, as well as promote blood circulation. Our products are suitable for both adults and children and also for people who suffer from the rheumatic disease.
For more information on our beds and mattresses for arthritis sufferers, you can request a free brochure by clicking on the link below or calling us free on 0808 115 3206.