As the temperatures get warmer and daylight lasts longer in May, it’s the perfect time to start a healthy habit of regular walking. And what a coincidence that May is also National Arthritis Awareness Month. The Arthritis Foundation takes time to help educate the public on ways to prevent and treat arthritis pain, which affects nearly 25 percent of American adults.
Walking is just one of many low-impact exercises that can help keep joints healthy and reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Our caregivers at Piedmont Home Care are especially good at helping clients get up and move on a regular basis, as we understand the benefits of regular exercise for many different health issues, from depression to heart disease.
There are three common types of arthritis, and exercise is beneficial to anyone suffering from any of these.
Osteoarthritis occurs when tissues that cushion your joints wears away, from age, injury or overuse. It generally affects the hands, knees, hips and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the joints become inflamed, and some people develop lumps over the joints.
Gout is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in one or more joints, most often in the big toe.
Alleviating Arthritis Pain
Many people take over-the-counter medications to help combat arthritis pain, but there are also ways outside of medication that you can lessen the symptoms.
Regular Exercise. Whatever type of arthritis you suffer from, low-impact exercise is good for helping manage pain. Walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics are all great activities that won’t cause added stress to joints.
Stay a Healthy Weight. The more weight you carry on your body, the more stress you put on your joints. For each extra pound you carry you’re putting four pounds of stress on your knees and six pounds of stress on your hips. Keeping up with a regular exercise program can help manage your weight.
Stretch: Keeping joints limber can improve range of motion and help reduce risk of further injury.
Quit smoking. It might seem like quitting smoking is on every list of preventative tips, whether it’s cancer or heart disease. Smoking negatively affects your overall health, and that applies to arthritis as well. Smoking puts stress on tissues that protect your joints, which can lead to arthritis pain.
Don’t let your arthritis pain keep you from enjoying the things you love to do, whether it’s playing cards or hanging out with your grandchildren. Our caregivers can give you the support and encouragement needed to exercise, stretch and lose weight to alleviate some of the pain associated with arthritis. Call us at Piedmont Home Care today to see how we can help you.