Maintaining a good posture can help minimise stress on your joints
Arthritis is a chronic condition that refers to inflammation and deterioration of one or more joints in the body. There are different types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis (caused by wear and tear on the joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease).
Arthritis can cause stiffness in the affected joints and surrounding tissues. This stiffness is often worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity and can make movement difficult and painful. In this article, we list some easy ways in which you can better manage stiffness caused by arthritis.
Try these simple remedial strategies to help manage stiffness caused by arthritis:
1. Stay active
Regular exercise can help reduce stiffness by keeping your joints and muscles flexible. Opt for low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and cycling.
2. Warm up before exercise
Before engaging in physical activity, spend a few minutes warming up your joints and muscles. This can be done through gentle stretching, range-of-motion exercises, or using heat packs.
3. Apply heat or cold
Applying a warm towel, or heating pad, or taking a warm shower can help relieve stiffness by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Alternatively, cold packs or ice packs can also reduce swelling and numb the area to alleviate stiffness.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight can put extra strain on your joints, leading to increased stiffness. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce stress on your joints and improve mobility.
5. Use assistive devices
Various assistive devices, such as walking aids, canes, or braces, can help support your joints and relieve stiffness. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist to determine which devices might be beneficial for you.
6. Practice good posture
Maintaining a good posture while sitting, standing, or performing activities can help minimise stress on your joints. Be conscious of your body positioning and use chairs or desks that provide proper support.
7. Implement joint protection techniques
When performing activities that may cause increased stiffness, such as lifting or carrying heavy objects, use proper techniques to protect your joints. Avoid repetitive motions and take breaks when needed.
8. Consider physical therapy
A physical therapist can design a personalised exercise program to help manage stiffness and improve joint mobility. They can also teach you specific techniques to alleviate pain and stiffness.
9. Relax and de-stress
Stress can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Engage in relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, to reduce stress levels and promote muscle relaxation.
10. Consider medications or supplements
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescribed medications can help relieve stiffness by reducing inflammation. Additionally, some supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, have shown potential to alleviate joint stiffness. Consult your doctor before starting any new medications or supplements.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or rheumatologist to determine the most suitable remedial strategies for managing stiffness caused by arthritis, as the effectiveness of each approach may vary depending on the individual's condition.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.