Anyone who experiences pain from their arthritis might take encouragement from today’s news (10 July) that scientists in Australia have found that taking aspirin on a daily basis can halt the pain associated with arthritis. (Daily Express)
The study found that patients who took a small amount of aspirin every day lost less of their cartilage, the body’s shock absorber. The clinical trial also showed that it could soothe the pain.
But is this really a solution for the millions of people in the UK who suffer with arthritis and for whom battle pain on a daily basis?
Whilst we welcome any breakthroughs in pain management, is taking pills really the only solution? While aspirin is one of the cheapest drugs in the world, there remains some concerns over prolonged use of the drug. It carries risks because on-going use can cause potentially dangerous bleeding by damaging the lining of the stomach.
Plus, the Australian trial was only carried out on a limited sample size and much bigger trials would need to be carried out before routine use of aspirin is recommended.
When crippling pain affects you and your movement on a daily basis you can often feel like you are the only person in the world who understands how it feels.
If a lifetime of popping pills doesn’t sound like the solution for you, what other alternatives are there?
Here at Adjustamatic we have worked closely with arthritis sufferers to try to understand your pain. Our unique, drug free Cyclo-Therapy has a deep penetrating massage effect helping to improve blood circulation and can benefit even the most severe cases of arthritis to help improve movement and reduce pain.
We don't claim to cure your arthritis, but we are medical proven to help improve systems and in turn, your quality of life.
Investing in an adjustable bed or riser recliner chair with cyclo-therapy offers a drug-free alternative to pain management. Cyclo-therapy is a unique and medically-proven therapy system that works to improve blood circulation, provide effective pain relief from a variety of health conditions including arthritis and promote complete relaxation.
However, there are some other small lifestyle changes that could help you manage your condition.
Stay active - 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.
Rest - 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.
Eat healthily - 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.
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 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.
Using aids - 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, stair lifts and mobility scooters to maintain their independence.