The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a result of normal joint activity over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The signs and symptoms vary by patient and by type, but generally all cases involve joint pain. The most common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased range of motion.
While some uncontrollable factors (age, family history, gender, etc) lead to or worsen arthritis, there are a number of activities you can do on your own that relieve the symptoms that come along with arthritis. For very severe cases of arthritis, you may wish to consider complimenting these daily habits with prescription medication or surgery.Weight Loss
Excess weight adds a great deal of pressure to your blood flow and joints. This is why individuals that are obese are more likely to suffer from arthritis. By reducing weight, you reduce this stress. Also, with less weight, you will find yourself more mobile and possibly reduce future joint industry.Exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to reduce arthritis symptoms. With regular exercise, the muscles around your joints will grow stronger, your bones will stay healthy, and your weight will be under control. You should be careful when deciding exercises though, as they may cause a great deal of pain. You should ask your doctor if you are unsure about certain types of exercises.
Good exercise choices for arthritis sufferers include range of motion, strengthening and aerobic exercises. Water activities, such as swimming and water aerobics, are very helpful because the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the joints that self support demands. Yoga and tai chi can also be very helpful as these stretching-type exercises improve flexibility as well as range of motion.Heat & Cold
Hot and cold treatments have proven to be very successful for reducing stiffness and managing arthritis pain. Cold therapy, such as cold packs or cold therapy systems can numb the joint pain, particularly helpful during a bad flare-up. Heat therapy relaxes the muscles. You can use dry heat like electric blankets or wet heat like moist heat pads.Assistive Devices
Any degree of arthritis can cause pain and discomfort in one’s life. Luckily, there are things you can do to make the everyday tasks a little bit easier.
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