Some days, it may seem like your pain, stiffness, and other arthritis symptoms control your life. There is hope, though. Not only are new medications being used to combat the condition, but there are also things you can do at home to minimize the effects the symptoms have on your everyday life. Here are some tips for making living with arthritis a little bit easier.
Talk to Your Doctor
A good relationship with your doctor can go a long way. Your primary care physician and physical therapist, along with any specialists you may see, are valuable resources who can help you learn to live with arthritis. Work with your doctor on a pain management plan and ask for options for when the pain is nagging but not intolerable. There are many options, from prescription pain medications to natural treatments you can do at home that may help.
Also, don’t forget to ask questions. Learning all that you can about your diagnosis can help you better manage your pain and other symptoms. This includes staying up-to-date on the latest research and discussing the possibilities of future treatment with your doctor. The Arthritis Foundation offers information on current research projects online.
Reach Out and Get Active
While you may not always feel like getting out of the house, you should consider getting involved with others with similar issues in your area. The Arthritis Foundation has a number of community programs specifically designed to help people with arthritis. While these programs include support groups and informational seminars, their most popular programs center around arthritis-friendly exercise plans.
Research has shown that low-impact exercise can help reduce arthritis pain, and it can even help take stress off throbbing knees and aching hips. Exercise can help you lose weight, build stronger joints, and stay feeling younger. Ask your doctor about stretches and workouts that can help.
Use the Tools Available
Many manufacturers are making tools today specifically for seniors or others who struggle with arthritis. You local pharmacy probably carries many of these items, while a medical supply store will stock a wide range. Look for things that will make your life easier, and ask your doctor about which you should consider using. For example, an automatic can opener or a specially designed jar opener can help you in the kitchen, while swapping out traditional doorknobs for lever-shaped knobs can make it easier to open doors throughout the house.
Arthritis pain doesn’t have to limit your lifestyle. There are a number of ways to manage arthritis and remain active. For more information about living with the condition, talk to your doctor or physical therapist.