Arthritis Advice From Those In The Know
Having arthritis and joint pain can be a hardship, but you’re not alone; there are millions of people in the UK living with arthritis on a daily basis. One way of dealing with your pain is to find out what others do, so over the past few weeks we’ve been asking our Facebook followers and arthritis forums for their tips and tricks for coping with arthritis. Here are our favourites.
Unsurprisingly at this time of year one key piece of advice we received was all about getting as much warmth as possible to ease those aching joints. Both @MarleneWright and @AnneMooney on facebook highlighted this issue, with Anne pointing out that keeping your core temperature up is crucial. Our recent tips on cold weather and arthritis give some advice on how to keep warm. Furthermore, massage therapist Jo Murch pointed out how keeping your muscles warm can help remove toxins from stiff and painful joints.
Yes, sometimes it’s going to hurt, but as @KatieEllenHazeldine on Quora says, movement helps keep muscles alive and can ease joint pain. Rosie Scott - an osteopath who refers to herself as a ‘human mechanic’ - says, “Moving the body helps to lubricate the joints and get blood flowing to the soft tissues, which helps the repair process and keeps muscles flexible and strong while also strengthening the bones. It’s a win-win.” @AlexSrdarevicLewis says both swimming and hydrotherapy can work wonders while @JackieClark says, “move it or lose it”.
Thanks to @PamelaLathamThirlaway on Facebook for pointing this one out as it’s very important. A lack of Vitamin D can actually lead to a softening of the bones, and in these darker months when we’re less likely to get enough sun, taking Vitamin D supplements can really help. What's more, recent studies suggest pain is actually made worse by a lack of Vitamin D, so if your joints are already hurting don’t exacerbate it by not getting enough.
Eat A Mediterranean Diet
There’s a reason all those aging Italians look so happy - it’s because their diet has taken good care of their joints. @AlexSrdarevicLewis told us she swears by a Mediterranean diet and nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker agrees. Speaking to us earlier this year Sarah said, “a Mediterranean diet can help arthritis through the oily fish that contain Omega 3.” It’s about building up the right amount of fatty acids in your body that are less toxic than the more commonly found Omega 6 in most diets.
Watch Your Weight
Following on closely from having a healthy diet is keeping an eye on your weight. Quora user @KatieEllenHazeldine points out that excess weight will make moving that much harder. Furthermore, the extra weight puts extra stress on your joints, so if they’re hurting already it might get worse if you overindulge.
Listen To Your Body
We love this one from @RowenaLiverpool on Facebook because it is spot on. She says your body will “tell you what you can and can’t do within your limits.” Having spoken to many people with arthritis this year, we can report that ‘listen to your body’ is a common mantra. MumInTheSouth blogger Erika Waller agrees with this in coping with her arthritis and raising her kids, “You have to learn to manage it and know when to stop, because you are ill, you might not look it but you are”.
As stated at the start of this article, you are not alone when it comes to having arthritis. @PamelaLathamThirlaway on Facebook tells us she’s joined a Facebook support group called Turmeric User Group but there are plenty out there to choose from. This is something Simon Stones of EULAR wholeheartedly agrees with when he says “by connecting with other people with arthritis you can learn, share, laugh and cry together. The support of people going through similar experiences is incredibly useful.”
Put A Smile On Your Face
It’s not always going to be easy. Sometimes your joints are going to ache more than others. But life doesn’t stop, something @KatieEllenHazeldine beautifully articulates on Quora. “The world is wide, and fascinating. It’s right outside the window. If I get down, I can feed the robin, or the ducks and they put a smile straight back on my face. You can have a life; a good life, find new things to do, still have great adventures and things to enjoy.” Perfectly put.