There are many things you can do to manage your arthritis, including:
- Stay active – physical activity is the key to maintaining muscle strength, joint flexibility and managing your pain . Walking is an ideal exercise, it burns calories, strengthen muscles and builds denser bones.
- A physiotherapist can help design an individual program for you and show you how to use walking aids such as cane, walker, brace or special shoes.
- An occupational therapist can help you modify your home environment making it easier for you to get around, recommending gadgets to help you open jars, tie shoelaces and other everyday tasks.
- Watch your weight – those extra kilos put more stress on your joints. Losing even a few pounds can benefit your joints!
- Hot /cold packs – applying heat can soothe aching joints and also relax muscles. You can apply a microwaveable hot pack or soak in a warm bath. For cold therapy, a bag of frozen peas or corn works great. it reduces swelling and pain . To stay safe, don’t apply a warm or cold compress for more than 20 mins at a time.
- Massage – according to the Arthritis Foundation, regular therapeutic massage of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness. Thus, improves joint range of motion. So book in with a physio today if you’re joints are getting sore!
Moreover, your mind plays an important role in how you feel about pain and respond to illness. People with arthritis often feel depressed, but with these feelings comes decreased activity, poor self esteem and increase in pain. So build a sense of control over your thoughts and actions, refer to the exercise pyramid and stay in positive spirits!!
At HCA, our team of allied health professionals are well equipped to address arthritis and seniors healthcare in aged care facilities and the community. Contact us for more information!