Stiffness in the morning and pain after physical activity sound familiar? These symptoms hit most of us when we enter our 40s and up, and the activities we once did with no pain now seem a little more difficult to accomplish. Why is this?
It’s inevitable that as we get older our bodies start to reflect our age in more ways than one, and one of the most common issues people experience is pain and stiffness in their joints. This regular sensation of pain, stiffness or even swelling is often due to a condition called Arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints which can lead to several symptoms of pain and discomfort as well as decrease mobility. Various types of Arthritis, such as Osteoarthritis, occur when the cushioning between the bones of the joint wears away over time, causing the bones to rub against each other. While arthritis can occur from an injury or activity, it most commonly occurs as we age due to overuse and natural degeneration.
Since some form of arthritis is inevitable for most, here are 4 ways to cope with the condition as you age to prevent further disease growth and lack of mobility.
(1) Staying Active is Key
Even though the pain may make you want to rest, it is important to keep your joints and body moving in order to prevent complete stiffness and locking of the joint. Doing regular, low-impact exercises can help you stay mobile while not intensifying the condition.
(2) Avoid Excess Weight
Keeping your weight at a healthy level will alleviate the extra pressure your joints have to hold. If you currently have an increased weight, work with your doctor to bring that down to avoid putting more pressure on your joints.
(3) Resistance Training
One type of low impact exercise is resistance training. This type of exercise is not only effective in keeping your body mobile, but also helps strengthen the muscles around the joints that may be weakened. The stronger your surrounding muscles are, the less strain your body will put on the joint therefore alleviating some of the pain and pressure.
(4) Symptom Treatment
While there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments that can alleviate the pain and associated symptoms you may be experiencing. If your symptoms are preventing you from doing any of the above, or the above are not enough to alleviate the pain then consider talking to a doctor about your treatment options. There are injections, medications, and regenerative therapies that can aid in reducing inflammation and targeting the area of pain.
We know that arthritis pain will affect most of us at some point in our lives, but taking these steps as a preventative measure, or as a guide to cope, can help promote your body’s natural ability to strengthen and stay mobile as you age and prevent future complications down the road.