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5 Tips for Living Better With Arthritis

02nd August 2015

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, causing more limitations than heart disease or diabetes and affecting one’s quality of life in a significant manner. This disturbing condition can severely affect one’s ability to perform daily tasks, due to the pain, swelling of tissues, and stiffness of joints that are present in arthritis sufferers.

Although exercise is considered one of the best natural treatments for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, people affected by this condition may not be able to perform certain types of physical activity. For this reason, it’s not always enough to advise one to exercise to ease the symptoms – other remedies should also be used for relieving the pain and discomfort.

The good news is that there are different natural and home solutions for this condition that can make arthritis less debilitating and can improve prognosis. Here’s what you can do to improve the quality of your life if you suffer from rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.

1. Get more sleep to balance hormones

The lack of sleep leads to increased production of cortisol and leptin. The former can weaken the immune system, worsening your condition, while the latter can make you feel hungry even after eating enough food. This can cause overheating and lead to weight gain, which favors inflammation and can worsen arthritis pain.

2. Make home a friendlier environment

Arthritis can make it difficult to perform certain tasks, so if you want to reduce the discomfort and pain and make your life easier, use labor-saving items like electronic mixers, can openers, and blenders. These are friendlier to your joints and more time-efficient, so you’ll have more time for yourself.

To prevent falls when entering or getting out of the bathtub, mount a grab bar on the wall, and add suction mats inside and right next to the tub. Use smaller boxes for packing things, to avoid unnecessary stress on joints when lifting them, and use a dishwasher to save time and allow your hands to rest and relax.

3. Use resistance bands for strength training

If lifting weights is too much for your joints, try replacing the dumbbells with elastic bands. These will still make your muscles burn more calories as they’ll have to work against a resistance force, but the load on joints, bones, and muscles will be lower.

4. Relax and train on a whole body vibration machine

Alternatively, you can consider investing in a vibration machine, as this tool allows you to train and strengthen your muscles safely and enjoyably. Moreover, it improves flexibility and circulation, stimulates the lubrication of joints, and helps in easing the pain and stiffness.

If you prefer to stick to conventional workouts, you can still benefit from a whole body vibration machine if you use it as a massage tool. Simply standing on the machine or sitting in front of the vibration platform can relax your muscles and stimulate the flow of blood and lymph, improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells.

To learn more about the benefits of whole body vibration, check the complete WBV series or this video that explains how WBV works.

5. Prepare as much of the meals as you can in advance

The repetitive movements did when preparing meals – washing, cutting, chopping, slicing, and mixing ingredients – can be tiring for your hands and joints, so prepare as much of your food as you can in advance. If you want to have an omelet with veggies for breakfast, cut all the ingredients the night before and simply mix them in the morning.

Make sure the kitchen is well heated, as doing repetitive movements with stiff joints will make the pain worse. On the contrary, heat can help your joints, so whether you’re working or cooking, keep the room well heated. Also, try to take breaks whenever needed and to alternate repetitive movements with other activities, to allow your wrists to relax.

Have other suggestions to add to this list? Comment below or join our Facebook community and share your thoughts with us!

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