One in four adults in the US has arthritis. I belong to the quarter of the population that needs to face the reality of it each and every day. Arthritis affects everyone differently. There are well over 100 known types and there is no known cure. It sounds quite grim but, luckily, it is not fatal. It also doesn’t have to destroy your entire life. As I have learned during the last 10 years of my journey, there are ways to manage it and actually enjoy most of the activities you are interested in.
Learn about the pain & understand your triggers
The first step is to accumulate as much knowledge on the topic as you possibly can. Your case will, of course, be unique but knowing the general facts about arthritis will help you cope with the pain a lot more easily. Each person will have their own triggers. Mine is cold weather. I can barely manage to go outside in January, especially if the wind gets intense. Others will react differently and perhaps be completely immune to low temperatures. Conditions as diverse as barometric pressure, stress and weight gain can all aggravate the situation. Learning about the disease and how to listen to your body is crucial.
Find the right medication & avoid dodgy claims
Medical science may have made massive strides forward in the last century or so but finding a cure for arthritis has proven elusive. This has left a lot of room for charlatans and snake oil salesmen to make the wildest claims you can possibly imagine. I hate to admit it but I have fallen for their story on more than a couple of occasions. Of course, all of us do this out of pure desperation but it is important to listen to your doctor and stick to the kind of medicine they will prescribe. You can always try some natural remedies and supplements but make sure to take any grand claims with a truckload of salt.
Exercise to prevent further complications
Arthritis is essentially an inflammation of the joints. Once it flares up, the last thing you will want to think about is exercise. Paradoxically enough, it is physical activity that can help you remain limber and ward off the pain. I try to do some light stretching in the morning, go for a jog for about 15-20 minutes, and try to stay active in general. Since my hands are the most affected part of my body, I always make an effort to keep them busy. You’d be surprised at what other strategies can help. I even managed to make my smartphone work for me. While doing my research, I found a couple of apps that have made a big difference in how I approach my condition.
Your health is indeed your most valuable asset. No matter how silly an idea may sound, you should always give it a try. It might as well work.
Arthritis can be an enormous burden on anyone suffering from it. This inflammation of the joints can cause pain on a daily basis, making it increasingly difficult to perform everyday tasks. In order to put your condition under control, you should make an effort to learn as much about it and know how to recognize your triggers. Avoid dodgy medication and miracle cures, and instead, follow the advice of your doctor. Exercise can make an enormous difference in how you cope with pain. Staying fit can ward off more severe symptoms for years. Consider all your options and always look for new ideas.