More than 1 in 5 American adults are diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Though there are over 100 conditions that fall under the arthritis banner, the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Each has a different cause, but both are degenerative diseases that can’t be cured.
However, through medical care and lifestyle changes, you can often slow the progress of arthritic conditions, while managing the discomfort and pain that often accompanies these diseases.
Consider adding Westside Pain Specialists to your arthritis management team. Dr. James Nassiri is an arthritis specialist, and he’s ready to help with your care.
The progression of arthritis
The course of your condition depends on the type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis is primarily a wear-and-tear condition that results from overuse and aging of tissue, while with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, your body mistakenly attacks its own joint tissue.
In both cases, as with many other types of arthritis, you suffer damage and inflammation to the tissue that combine to cause pain and limit mobility. Without intervention, you can expect your symptoms to get worse over time.
Treatment often focuses on the management of pain, though the progression of the disease can also be slowed in some cases. Along with medical care, there are things you can do that reduce the arthritis burden on your body.
Managing your arthritis
Discuss your arthritis home care with Dr. Nassiri to ensure your strategies are appropriate for your condition. Understand everything you can about your arthritis, its nature, and how it affects you.
When conditions change, such as the type and amount of pain or new limits to a joint’s range of motion, be sure to discuss these with Dr. Nassiri or a member of his team.
Perhaps the most counterintuitive arthritis management technique includes staying active. Your pain may make you feel that you should rest and avoid movement, but this is rarely the best approach.
Instead, look to add light-to-moderate low-impact activity. Such exercise can keep your joints flexible and support strong muscles. Increased activity supports weight loss and maintenance, another important aspect of arthritis management. Suitable exercise includes:
- Water-based aerobics and swimming
- Yoga and tai chi
Know your limits and stay within them to avoid causing further damage to a joint.
The load on your joints isn’t a one-to-one relationship. Losing five pounds of overall body weight could lower force loads on weight bearing joints by a much higher factor. Knees and hips often feel better with even moderate amounts of weight loss.
Hot and cold therapy
The pain and inflammation of arthritis often respond to warmth and cooling, from heating pads, compresses and ice packs, to ointments that use capsaicin or menthol to provide topical relief.
These options usually combine well with other treatments and may help reduce the amount of pain medications you need.
These are just three home care options you can use to improve your arthritis symptoms. Learn more by contacting Westside Pain Specialists in Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga. Call the nearest office directly to book your consultation today.