Arthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating disease, that does not have a cure. Many people go through their daily lives receiving little or no relief for their arthritis pain. Even though there are prescription medications on the market to help reduce the inflammation that causes pain, many people disregard their doctor’s prescription, or stop taking the medication or are not taking it the correct way. This does not mean that these medications don’t work. However what these people don’t know is that there are simple and easy steps that they can take to reduce and minimize these painful symptoms. These are every day steps that are simple to do and easy to implement throughout your daily life. Give it a try and you could see relief immediately.
The first step to relief is diagnosing the problem. If a physician hasn’t diagnosed you and you have been experiencing arthritis symptoms such as pain, swelling, or stiffness for more than a week, consult your doctor. Remember that there are several types of arthritis that can appear throughout the entire lifecycle therefore its better to be safe than sorry and get it checked. Once you have a specific diagnosis you can then move on to treating the problem.
Educate yourself. Whether you have just been diagnosed or you have been suffering with arthritis for years it is important to learn about the disease. There is so much knowledge and information out there that you could learn something new everyday. Look online, subscribe to a newsletter, join an online community, submit your questions to a forum or read someone’s blog. If you are not handy with a computer, ask your doctor.
If your doctor prescribes you medication, take it the correct way. Doctors give very precise instructions on how to take medications. If you don’t take it the right way you can have side effects or you may not feel like the medication is working. If you can’t remember what accurate way to take your medication or the doctor says it too fast make him repeat it and tell you again. Don’t just stop taking a medication your doctor prescribes you. With several medications it can take weeks or months to get into the bodies system and work effectively. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about anything he/she prescribes for you.
Protect your joints. Arthritis occurs within the joints. So the best thing you can do is protect them. By staying in the same position for prolonged periods of time, your joints become stiff and fixated. By taking short breaks and moving around it will keep your joints mobile and reduce the pain that comes from immobility.
Stretch. Even though stretching is one of the most important things for the body, muscles and joints, its also one of the things people forget about the most. When you take your breaks and get up and move around do some quick easy stretches to get the blood flowing. By increasing the blood flow, the muscles and tendons stay warm which prevents stiffness. Stretching also prevents injuries. Its important to stretch first thing when you get out of bed, liberally throughout the day, and before and after physical activities. Remember to stretch each major muscle group.
Control your weight. Being overweight negatively impacts every part of your body and especially your weight bearing joints. Watching your weight lowers your risk of developing arthritis especially in the weight bearing joints such as the knee. Additionally losing weight can slow the progressing and symptoms of arthritis.
Exercise. Exercising has long been known to reduce joint pain, and stiffness and increase flexibility and strength. In addition it goes hand in hand with losing excess weight that causes those painful symptoms. When we exercise our brain release endorphins, which make us feel better. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if you break it up into 3 segments of 10 minutes.
Cool down. Although exercise is important for balance your weight and making us feel better, it’s important to not over do it. When our bodies become overheated it has to work extra hard to cool back down. This opens up the body to infection, disease and toxins. Know your limit. When you start to get tired, slow down or stop. Rest in the shade. Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Make sure you properly hydrate before, after and during physical activity.
Get a massage. Most people think massages are just for relaxing but they have therapeutic benefits as well. Different types of massage techniques can reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscle tissues and joints. Massage warms of the muscles and allows blood to flow easily throughout the body. This eases sore tissues and relieves painful blockages within the body.

Author's Bio: 

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me. Check out my health website!
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