If you suffer from arthritis or another form of chronic joint pain, you may not only experience the associated pain and swelling, but also difficulty functioning from day-to-day. Arthritis and chronic joint pain is not a walk in the park (pun intended). Whether you are prone to spurts of pain or experience it all the time, going about a normal day may seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. What can you do to take control back? Here are some daily tips for you to take control of your joint pain.
Make it easy to get around your home
If you suffer from arthritis of the toes, feet, hips, or knees, it is difficult to move. Walking from one room in your home to the next may trigger pain. Make it as easy as possible to move around. Is your home an obstacle course with furniture in the way? Enlist the help of a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor and rearrange your furniture to create a straight path. The fewer turns and steps you have to make, the better.
Make sure all needed items are within easy reach
Regardless of what joints hurt, it can be difficult to reach for and grip certain items. So, don’t. Do you find it too difficult to reach the high shelf in your kitchen cupboard? If so, don’t use it. Place all foods and dishes on lower shelves or utilize your countertop. Do you find it too difficult to grasp dresser drawer handles? Instead, use your closet to hang clothes on. With one simple tug, many fall right off the hanger. Learning to prevent and manage the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis includes making your life at home easier.
Keep pain relievers handy
All arthritis patients suffer from pain. Depending on the type of arthritis, this pain may be constant or it may come and go. Either way, pain relievers can a lifesaver. They typically provide relief in as little as 15 minutes. Some over-the-counter arthritis creams provide pain relief as soon as contact is made with the skin. If they work for you, keep them on hand. Keep some pills and creams in your home, car, and purse. There are many ways to reduce the risk of arthritis pain, but there are no guarantees. Anything can trigger pain, so always be prepared.
Rely on walking aids
If you suffer from arthritis of the toes, feet, hips, or knees, walking can be difficult and painful. With each step you take, increased pressure is applied to your already painful joints. Walking aids can help to reduce this pressure on your joints. What else can you do to lessen the pressure? You may consider knee braces, crutches, or canes. Remember, the less pressure you apply to your joints, the less pain you should feel.
Ask for help
Arthritis sufferers often experience times when they feel helpless. Common examples are the difficulties experienced when trying to open a jar of spaghetti sauce, walk to the mailbox without experiencing pain, or lift a heavy box. It is very frustrating to be unable to handle daily tasks without pain. Yes, you are encouraged to try, but not if it will bring on the pain. Although it can be hard, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your neighbor to deliver your mail to your front door and leave the heavy box until a family member can help you.
Keep a journal
One of the many problems arthritis sufferers face is difficulty managing their pain. Talking about the difficulties you face can help. For most, the worst thing to do is to keep these emotions bottled up inside. Are you mad that you are suffering from arthritis? Get that anger out of you! Deal with each issue or complication as it arises, don’t keep things bottled up inside. When they do come out, it will be explosive. It is best to talk to someone at home or join an arthritis support group. If you opt not to, keep a journal instead. Write down all feelings, including the good and the bad. When you get round to reading your journal, it will help you on your journey.
In short, there are many ways to treat and manage arthritis pain. Over-the-counter products can be a lifesaver for many arthritis patients, but they are not your only option. The first step should be focusing on day-to-day tasks. When these seem easier and less painful, the rest will simply just fall into place. Do you have some daily tips to control your joint pain? Share with our readers, we’d love to hear from you (just comment below).