Living with arthritis can be one of the most painful experiences. Arthritis can be disruptive for a good quality of life. It affects almost all activities ranging from jobs to relationships and even daily tasks.
In extreme cases of arthritis, even seemingly simple tasks like cooking or changing your clothes might be exhausting. If you or someone you know has arthritis, it's essential to take a lot of care of your condition to relieve pain, improve function, and cope with all the emotions it presents.
Arthritis management consists of many parts. You will need to take regular medication prescribed by your doctor and have an active lifestyle consisting of special exercises to live better with arthritis. Losing weight, eating healthy and massaging your joints are great techniques, regardless of the type of arthritis you are suffering from. Other arthritis management tips include using joint protention devices and have regular self-care activities such as acupressure and physical therapy to give your body a chance to heal.
While all of this is great, it often gets too overwhelming and becomes confusing on the dos and donts of arthritis. Following are some simple tips you can do without feeling overwhelmed for a better life with arthritis.
a. Movement Is Key
If you or someone you know has arthritis, remember that holding nay position for too long will be detrimental for your health. If you are working a desk job or watching something on the television, take a break every 15 minutes to get up, move around, and continue what you were doing. This simple hack will ensure that your joints do not freeze up and hurt when you try moving after working a long stretch of say 2 hours.
b. Plan Ahead
Now that you know you have arthritis, rather than being sad, plan ahead. Think of chores you can eliminate or simplify for a better quality of life. While purchasing clothes, find clothes that do not need ironing. Or rearrange your storage to make reaching out for things easier for you. If you have two floors, remember to stock both levels with supplies that you might need. Stocking both storeys will reduce your need to make frequent trips upstairs or downstairs. Examples include having drinking water, some snacks and cleaning supplies.
c. Don't Stress Your Joints
If your joints hurt when trying to do some chore such as cleaning or maybe opening a jar, do not just keep at it. When it begins to hurt, your bones are likely rubbing against each other, which means that they are being damaged. At times like these, stop and relieve the pressure. So if opening a jar hurts, do not use your hand or wrist to open it, instead place your palm on the cap of the pot and use your shoulder to open it. Similarly, when opening doors, do not take the pressure on the hand but instead use your shoulder as a lever to open the door. If carrying a box hurts, distribute the weight using both hands or a rucksack to carry things.
d. Use Items To Save Labour
You only have so much energy and strength when living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. So, if you genuinely want to improve your life quality, get adaptative aids or items. For instance, if opening a can is troublesome, get an electric can opener. Reduce scrubbing and get automatic toilet bowl cleaners. Look out for products that will save your time doing tasks that shouldn't take so long or reduce your pain.
e. Don't Be Shy
Don't feel ashamed to call for help. If you try doing everything on your own, it might be a recipe for disaster. Make your needs be known, express how things get hard with arthritis, talk about it to normalize it. If you don't want the family to be involved, get a neighbour or a friend involved to make things easier otherwise, if you can afford to, hire help to assist you with changing a light bulb, grabbing boxes or cleaning up.