If you’re living with arthritis, some days are better than others. Sometimes flare-ups occur without warning. If you fall, you need medical attention. You might have to wait for hours in a hospital ER. Afterward, there’s always a huge medical bill. You now have another option.
Urgently Ortho is a walk-in clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, that treats orthopedic issues. We’re open six days a week for your convenience. Walk-ins are available four days a week – no appointment necessary.
We see many patients with arthritis. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, regenerative medicine physician, and physician assistants attend to your immediate needs with the greatest professionalism and compassion.
Following are five lifestyle tips that can help you lessen arthritis pain.
Get the right kind of exercise for you
Many articles on the internet explain how exercise is critical to maintaining good health. But knowing which types of exercise will help rather than hurt you is just as important. Low-impact cardio activities such as walking, biking, and swimming are all excellent choices that help keep you fit but don’t normally inflame arthritic joints.
Talk with your physician about what exercises are most beneficial for you. If you haven’t been exercising, you’ll need to start slowly and carefully. If you have your doctor’s approval, start with a three- to five-minute walk to the mailbox and back a couple of times a day. Gradually increase it each week, and you’ll be surprised at what you can do after a couple of months. You want to try to work up to at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Getting regular exercise improves sleep and eases joint stiffness.
Lose weight if you’re overweight
Being overweight increases arthritis pain and discomfort. For every pound you’re overweight, you’re putting four extra pounds of pressure on your knees. If you shed 20 pounds, you’re eliminating 80 pounds of pressure on your knees. If you lose 40 pounds, your knees are bearing 160 pounds less than they did. Less pressure equals less pain.
Have you ever self-medicated when your joints hurt? It’s tempting, but experts tell you to “just say no.”
If you’re on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you’re more at risk for internal bleeding and ulcers if you imbibe too much. If you’re on other drugs such as methotrexate, you may eventually end up with liver damage.
Drinking excess alcohol places you at increased risk for various cancers, diabetes, and stroke.
Studies show that minimal alcohol consumption (less than one 5 ounce glass of wine or 8 ounces of beer a day) may decrease inflammation in those with rheumatoid arthritis and may possibly decrease the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. But it’s much too easy to pour well over 5 ounces into a glass, and drinking can become addictive.
It’s important to discuss any alcohol use with your physician.
Use ergonomic chairs, desks, and keyboards
If you sit at a computer during the day, use an ergonomic chair to provide proper back support. Follow ergonomic principles when using the computer: arms at about 90 degrees when typing. Your body should be leaning back just slightly, which avoids tech neck; never hunch forward over the computer. A split keyboard helps avoid carpal tunnel and arthritis pain in your fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms.
Make simple modifications to your home
Arthritis can make everyday tasks more difficult. Making simple changes to your home can make life easier.
Have a spouse or handyman replace doorknobs with door handles. This makes opening doors easier on your hands and wrists.
Simple bathroom additions
Install a handrail in the bathroom if you have trouble getting up and down. A grab bar in the shower prevents falls, as does a sli- resistant shower base.
Tired of bending down to hit cans on the floor to open them? Electric can openers make cooking a lot easier, as do electric knives.
Call Urgently Ortho for an appointment or simply walk in if you have an immediate orthopedic need.