But you don’t need to do intense gym workouts or running to ease arthritis symptoms. Even a light workout can help reduce pain as well as help you maintain your weight.
When arthritis impacts your mobility, exercises help you keep moving. It strengthens the muscles around the joints; helps you control weight; improves the quality of sleep and improves your balance as well.
Though you might be avoiding exercise just because you think that it can hurt your affected joints, it is just a misconception. Not doing any workout actually can aggravate the pain and stiffness in the joint. This is because the strength of muscles and surrounding tissues is important for the support of the bones. A lack of physical activity can weaken those supporting muscles, increasing stress on the joints.
Ask Your Doctor First:
First of all, consult your doctor about the right workout for the condition of your joint. What types of workouts can go well depends on your arthritis type as well as which joints are involved. Your doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to create the right exercise plan.
Choose the Low Impact Workout:
Your physician or therapist can suggest exercises for you, which might include strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, aerobic exercise, and other activities.
Range of motion workouts helps relieve stiffness and improve your ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. For example, you can raise the arms over the head or rolling the shoulders forward and backward.
Strengthening workouts help you build strong muscles to support and protect your joints. It is important to take a rest a day between your workouts. And avoid doing the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Aerobic workouts can support your overall fitness as they can control your weight, improve your cardiovascular health and increase your stamina and energy. Walking and bicycling are two of the easiest aerobic workouts.
Always Warm Up:
Make sure to warm up before doing any workout. A warm-up slowly revs up your cardiovascular system by increasing your body temperature and improving blood flow to your muscles. Warming up can also help ease muscle soreness and reduce the risk of injury. Start slowly and get up to speed once you feel“warmth” in your muscles and joints.
Apply Heat Before Doing Workout:
You can also warm up the muscles by applying heat to relax your muscles and joints before you start any workout. Heat treatments—hot packs, a shower, or warm towels—should be comfortably warm and applied for nearly 20 minutes.
Apply Cold Compress After Doing Workout:
If you experience joint swelling after doing workouts, you can ease it using a cold compress. Cold can minimize swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by arthritis and activity. You can use heat compress before a workout and cold therapy after exercise. It is easy to make a cold compress. Just wrap some ice cubes in a towel or place a damp towel in a plastic bag in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then use the towel and place it on the affected parts. Avoid applying direct ice to the affected area.
Do It Slowly:
Don’t get carried away by the intensity you feel during the workout. Always use slow and gentle movements. If you experience pain or swelling, make sure to take a break.
So these are some workout tips you should practice if you have arthritis. It is all about consulting your doctor and doing the workouts more safely. What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!
Warm weather is considered to be bliss for most of us, but it can have certain effects on people suffering from arthritis. There is a saying often shared by arthritis patients where they say that they can determine the weather based on how their joints are feeling.
Some arthritis patients have trouble in their joints where they suffer from joint pains and stiffness during winters while others during summers. It depends from person to person about their sensitivity to weather and also the level of activity and exercise plays a crucial role.
Even though the exact reason why arthritis pain is affected by weather is not known, there are two theories for the same.
According to the first theory, being active helps in relieving arthritis pain and during winters and damp weather, there is a less physical activity which aggravates stiffness and pain in the joints.
The second theory suggests that the pain felt in the joints is affected by the pressure in the air outside. Extreme temperatures hot or cold can cause a lot of discomforts.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis not only affects joints but also has its effects on the tissues surrounding the joints as well as other connecting tissues.
Patients with arthritis experience tenderness or inflammation in one or more of their joints. Presently, more than 100 types of arthritis have been identified.
There are 5 commonly identified types of arthritis-
- Osteo Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Effects of Summer on Arthritis
As there is more retention of water in the body during summer when the weather conditions are hot, one’s body tends to develop swollen joints.
The sensory nerves which are present in the joint continuously respond to weather changes. The fluids in the joints are also affected by humidity and temperature changes. These changes in the level of fluids tend to reduce the lubrication in the joints. This causes pain and inflammation as well as causes stiffness in the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
With the rising humidity in the surrounding areas, there is an expansion in the ligaments, muscles, and tendons which causes an increase in the pain. The body can also feel dehydrated during humid days resulting in a decrease in fluids around the joints causing an increase in pain.
Apart from this, the change in barometric pressure affects the tendons and muscles expanding and contracting them. This leads to extreme pain caused by arthritis.
Summer also affects people suffering from chronic joint pain or arthritis making it intolerable for them.
Summer Care Remedies for Arthritis
Following these simple tips and remedies will help in relieving arthritis pain during the summer season.
Staying indoors is advised where the humidity and temperature in the environment are controlled. Staying out for a longer duration can lead to aggravation in the inflammation of joints leading medicines to be less effective.
Dehumidifiers can also be used for relief purposes.
It is very important to remain hydrated by drinking a lot of water and other fluids which help in maintaining the levels of electrolytes in the body. It is advisable to refrain from sugary as well as caffeine drinks and alcohol as these tend to dehydrate the body.
It is preferable to wear natural fiber and comfortable clothing. Cotton clothes are the best option as they are comfortable and loose. They help to evaporate the body sweat and help in keeping the body cool as well as to breathe.
Swimming and other water activities are a great way of staying active when the heat becomes too much for other outdoor activities. The pressure on the joints is relieved by the buoyancy of water while swimming.
Yoga and Exercise
Yoga and exercises are a great way of improving flexibility and joint pains. They also help in reducing the stress in joints. But it is advisable to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or yoga.
Foods having anti-inflammatory properties and those which are rich in anti-oxidants should be eaten. It is best to eat seasonal fruits like watermelon, strawberries, cherries, and pomegranate, and more which help in reducing inflammation in joints.
vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, red bell peppers, and more are also good for summer.
There are certain foods that should be avoided such as salty food, food with preservatives, processed food, and food that are deep-fried. Drinks with a lot of sugar content including soft drinks and alcohol must be avoided.
During extreme heat, it is advisable to pour running water over the wrists or applying a washed cloth dipped in cold water to cool yourself. This helps in maintaining the temperature of the body.
Using ice packs or cooling pads directly on the joints is also advised.
Anti-inflammatory supplements should only be taken on the doctor’s prescription as they reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys.
Staying hydrated during the summer helps in preventing muscle cramps and heat strokes.
Despite extremely cold weather being unfavorable for patients with arthritis does not mean that summers are good for them. The body can be physically drained out during the summer season, even so, you must handle these extreme heat conditions smartly with the help of the tips and remedies given above.
You can make the most of the summer season without letting arthritis dampen your spirit of enjoyment.
Each day can be different when you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It is a medical condition when your body’s joint linings are targeted by the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis affects both sides of the body simultaneously – both knees or both elbows, apart from also affecting other organs such as eyes, heart, lungs, nerves, skin, and even blood. To reduce the pain and stress caused by rheumatoid arthritis in your body, follow the shortcuts and tricks shared below. These will help you to conserve energy, stay organized, and ease the strain on your body.
Listen to your body
To better take care of your plans, and adjust your body accordingly, it is important to understand what is going on inside your body.
- Focus on long-lasting pain – If there is a pain in your body that lasts for more than an hour, or if you notice swelling in your joints after a particular activity, it means that your body has taken on way more than it can handle. You need to relax and reimagine how to perform the same task with a lesser stress level next time.
- Pace yourself – Spending each day while suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can seem like a marathon in itself. It is wise to pace your day and not sprint all day and get exhausted. Take breaks between tasks and never do two heavy-duty tasks in a single stretch.
- Move carefully – Refrain from putting stress on your joints. This will cause fewer injuries and less pain. While standing, make sure to keep a certain distance between your feet. For better balance, place one foot in front of the other. If there is a need to keep standing for a while, use a chair or a wall to lean on to reduce the load on your body.
- Reduce physical stress – Using a neck pillow or a rolled towel while working at a desk, or using a footrest to keep your ankles, knees, and hips at a 90-degree angle concerning your torso, can be a good step to reduce the strain on your muscles. Sitting or standing in one spot for too long can make you go stiff, and it can be avoided by moving around and stretching your body at regular intervals.
Make home tasks more manageable
Use the following list of cheats to manage household chores.
- Spread tasks over a weekly schedule – You need to break down your weekly household chores into smaller tasks, spread over each day of the week equally. For example, you can choose to do laundry one day, mopping the other. For mopping, you can break it down further by choosing one floor or room per day.
- Get the right tools – Tools such as dusters, brooms, and vacuums, are lightweight tools that make the chores easy so that you don’t end up putting a lot of stress on your joints.
- Gentle body movements – While cleaning your house, use a push motion (sweeping, mopping) instead of a pull motion. If your knees are feeling the pressure, either alternate between both knees to distribute the pressure equally or use knee guards. Alternate between sitting and standing tasks.
Run errands efficiently
Efficient management or daily errands does not seem to be on the top of the list for most people, but it can work wonders.
- Create an errand list – Preparing a list of what items you need for each room or each task will help you get the complete set of items from the market. Otherwise, you might forget to purchase an item(s) and then would have to make a second trip to get it.
- Place online orders for heavy items or when you need to order in bulk. These items will get delivered straight to your home.
- Advance planning –This is the most important step as you need to prepare a prioritized list of errands with the most important errand being on top and then follow it with the tasks in decreasing order of their importance. You will want to have the important tasks finished first, in case your body needs a rest due to fatigue or pain.
Keep cooking simple
Do not invest too much time or effort in cooking.
- Prepare multiple meals in one go – If you are in good health and feeling active, you should prepare multiple meals at once which can then be stored in your freezer or fridge for use on other days when you are in pain and can’t work.
- Hang utensils on a wall – the ones which you use frequently. This will save you time and effort when you have to use them next.
- Emergency plan – If you are having a bad day and just are not able to cook, you should have a list of vendors who can deliver healthy food items to your home.
Use tools to take pressure off
Certain devices can increase your comfort levels considerably and improve your capability to perform certain tasks. This will put less strain on your joints. Consider the following assistive devices to invest in:
- Heating pad
- Easy-grip utensils for the kitchen
- Handrails and a sturdy chair for use in the shower
- An extendable grabber tool that can help you reach items and open doors which are at some distance from you
- A spare can for your home or car
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you will need to take proper care of yourself. Taking the aforementioned points into consideration will help you live comfortably through it.