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Six tips for reducing arthritis pain

Though it affects each person differently, arthritis is a painful and degenerative condition that occurs when the joints become inflamed causing pain or stiffness. Arthritis pain is usually addressed with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers, but there are also more natural remedies that can help bring additional relief.

Here are six suggestions from the Arthritis Foundation and Medline that may help you cope with arthritis.

Try low and slow exercise
It may be tempting to refrain from moving to avoid pain but it is important to keep moving so that your joints remain flexible. However, this doesn’t mean exercising even when the pain is intense. Stay away from high-impact activities like running or jumping around in a sport and focus on low-impact  exercises like swimming, or riding a bike. Be sure to wear shoes that fit properly and have a flat, flexible sole, closed toe and good arch support. Properly fitting shoes can reduce the force exerted on your knees so there is less damage to the joint.

Shed a few pounds
Carrying around extra pounds can impact your joints, especially in the hips, knees and feet. Losing weight can really make a difference in your arthritis pain. There are also long-term advantages since losing those pounds can reduce possible future damage to your joints.

Add pain relief to the menu
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for a general healthy diet but they are also helpful in dealing with arthritis pain. Try adding omega-3 rich salmon, tuna, mackerel or herring to your diet each week. Red and purple fruits like strawberries, cherries and blueberries contain anthocyanins which have an anti-inflammatory effect so try adding them to the menu. Drinking green tea is also a good plan since it contains polyphenols which are antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction.

Go with hot or cold
Applying heat or cold can often reduce pain. When muscles begin to spasm with arthritis pain, the blood flow to the area is reduced. Applying a heating pad or taking a warm bath will increase the blood flow, relax the muscle and provide some relief. If a joint is inflamed, try an ice pack, which will send cold along the large nerve fibers and lessen the pain from the smaller nerve fibers. Cold can also constrict the blood vessels which reduces the swelling and inflammation.

Concentrate on pain relief
Suffering the chronic pain of arthritis can be depressing. When you feel stressed by the pain, the body releases chemicals in the body that can increase inflammation. Try using the many mind-body or relaxation techniques to reduce the stress and find some pain relief. There are many different methods including meditation, deep breathing and guided imagery that are used to reduce pain and stress.

Use massage for comfort
The Arthritis Foundation has found that a regular program of joint massage can reduce pain, address stiffness and improve the range of motion. The massage can be done by a therapist but some people are able to massage their joints themselves. The important thing is to find a therapist with experience in dealing with arthritis to help with massage therapy.

The challenge of arthritis during recovery
When movement is restricted during a medical event or hospitalization, the symptoms of arthritis can be amplified. Joints can become swollen and stiff due to lack of use increasing the level of discomfort from surgery or illness. Having experienced caregivers who know how to address these specific levels of pain makes recovery less stressful. The best way to get this level of care is to choose to stay at a short-term care center where staff are attentive and knowledgeable in the ways to relieve and address all types of pain, especially joint pain caused by arthritis.

Keeping updated about the latest methods of recovery treatment after joint replacement surgery, a hospital stay or a medical event has always been part of Whitehall of Deerfield’s mission to deliver the best post-hospital care possible. Whitehall of Deerfield’s expert therapists provide one-on-one physical and occupational therapy, which does wonders in helping guests recover fully and speedily.

Whitehall of Deerfield, a pioneer in luxury health care, also offers massage therapy to their guests in addition to other therapeutic recovery. The Wellness Spa at Whitehall of Deerfield features massage therapists who have been expertly trained on how to deliver the proper care.

Whitehall of Deerfield has been given Medicare’s highest rating in its five-star quality rating system of rehabilitation facilities and is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading and most respected health care accrediting authority. You can depend upon receiving quality care at Whitehall of Deerfield.

In addition, guests enjoy well-appointed rooms with many amenities including high-speed wireless Internet, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper and dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies. Guests select meals from menus and enjoy them either in attractive dining rooms or in the privacy of their own guest rooms. There are also complimentary fresh-baked treats and ice cream available at an on-site ice cream parlor and coffee shop. Guests’ needs are addressed by a caring and compassionate staff who are focused on each guest’s recovery. Friends and family will also find valet parking when they come to visit and an attractively furnished lounge is available for spending time together.

For superior post-hospital care in a luxurious setting, choose Whitehall of Deerfield. To learn more or schedule a tour, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600