Top tips on managing arthritis pain at home, with a video Q&A featuring consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Faisal Hussain from BMI The Priory and BMI The Edgbaston hospitals.
Did you know that more than 10 million people in the UK are living with arthritis?1
According to the analysis of our Joint Pain Matters report, more than two-thirds of respondents (68.88%) said joint pain has impacted their mental health. Joint pain wreaks havoc on people's lives, which is why considering your treatment options carefully is important.
If you are suffering from arthritis pain and looking for ways to manage symptoms without surgery, there are several things you can try at home.
We share five top tips to improve your health and quality of life, allowing you to live better with arthritis.
1. Keep active
You might worry that exercise will encourage the symptoms of arthritis, however keeping active is actually one of the best ways to ease joint pain and stiffness.
Regular exercise has been proven to strengthen the muscles that support our joints.2
It’s also important to keep moving throughout the day. Staying in one position for too long can result in stiff or even painful joints.3
Try to stay active at regular intervals, even if it’s just getting up to have a stretch.
Before exercising with arthritis, it’s best to talk to your GP or consultant. They can give you tailored advice to suit your individual needs.
2. Get a good night's sleep
As many as 80% of people with arthritis have trouble sleeping.4
Arthritis can be uncomfortable – often painful – and many people find that this can make it harder to sleep well.
But not only can better sleep improve the symptoms of arthritis, poor sleep can actually make them worse.4
Improving your sleep hygiene is a great way to encourage a restful night’s sleep. This can be as simple as reducing your caffeine intake, avoiding electronic devices before bed, or sticking to a bedtime schedule.
A relaxing night time ritual, such as reading or meditation, can also help you wind down.
3. Look after your mental wellbeing
If you are living with arthritis, it can be easy to focus on the physical. But it’s important to look after your mental health too.
Stress can have negative effects on our physical wellbeing, and studies suggest that it can even encourage the symptoms of arthritis.5
Meditation and mindfulness can help to de-stress and improve your mood. You should also make sure to do things that make you happy.
Keep up with your hobbies, visit loved ones, or even just take half an hour to relax.
The Consultant's View
Mr Faisal Hussain from BMI The Priory Hospital and BMI The Edgbaston Hospital shares his advice.
- When is it time to seek help for arthritis?
This is all to do with functional windows.
A functional window is is what you are able to do comfortably. For some people this may be being able to get out to the shops or walking around the house. For others it will be playing a round of golf.
What people find is that when their functional window is becoming narrower and it’s not acceptable for them anymore, that’s the time to seek medical advice.
As a consultant I will then help them to work out how they can expand that functional window to a level that they are happy with.6
4. Eat for health
Foods including fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to ease arthritic symptoms such as joint swelling and pain.7
Opt for a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in all these foods and thought to be one of the healthiest in the world.8
Remember, try not to focus on eliminating certain foods. Instead, focus on what you do eat. A balanced diet covering all the main food groups will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.9
5. Maintain a healthy weight
Did you know that losing even a small amount of weight can have a significant impact on your joint health?
For every pound you lose, up to four times that pressure is removed from your joints, which can help to reduce the swelling and pain associated with arthritis.10
Your GP or consultant will be able to give you advice on managing your weight the right way for you.
To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.