About one in four Americans is living with arthritis. It’s a degenerative condition that affects your joints, and unfortunately, there is no cure.
The good news? You can do a lot to slow the progression of arthritis and improve your quality of life. Our team at Manhattan Orthopedics specializes in arthritis care, and we’re here to help you find a comprehensive treatment plan that helps you keep moving and feeling good.
Read on for six essential lifestyle changes that can make a significant difference in managing your arthritis and reducing its impact on your daily life.
1. Take a proactive approach
Arthritis can’t be cured or reversed, but it can be managed — and a proactive approach helps you maximize your joint mobility. At Manhattan Orthopedics, we partner with you to help you learn about the condition and slow joint deterioration.
Staying informed about treatment options and self-care techniques is a great way to find what works best for you. We can help you make informed decisions about your treatment and lifestyle choices, making adjustments along the way to help you live more comfortably.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Excess body weight puts extra stress on your joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like your knees, hips, and spine. That means if you have arthritis, losing even a modest amount of weight can significantly reduce the strain on your joints and relieve arthritis symptoms.
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We can work with you to create a healthy eating plan that suits your needs and promotes weight loss, if necessary.
3. Stay physically active
Although arthritis can make movement painful, regular physical activity is vital for managing arthritis. Exercise helps you maintain joint flexibility and strengthens the muscles around affected joints.
Our team recommends starting slowly and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts. A few of the best activities for people with arthritis are low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and yoga.
4. Protect your joints
When you’re living with arthritis, it’s important to take extra steps to protect your joints from further damage. Simple strategies like using assistive devices (e.g., canes or braces), wearing proper footwear with cushioned soles, and using ergonomic tools can help reduce joint stress.
Remember to take breaks when you’re active, especially when you’re engaging in activities that require repetitive motions, like typing. Proper body mechanics and joint protection techniques can make a significant difference in slowing joint damage over time.
5. Manage stress
Stress can exacerbate your arthritis symptoms, making pain and inflammation worse. And when you’re in pain, your stress levels can rise, creating a vicious cycle. Learning to manage stress can make a difference for your health — both physically and mentally.
We recommend stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Seeking the support of a mental health professional or joining support groups to share experiences and coping strategies can also be helpful in reducing stress and feeling less alone.
6. Get enough sleep
Everyone needs quality sleep, but it holds particular importance for people with arthritis. Poor sleep can worsen arthritis pain and inflammation, so prioritizing sleep is a key part of arthritis management.
If you struggle to get restful sleep, start by establishing a soothing bedtime routine. Create a sleep-friendly environment with a comfortable mattress and pillows that provide proper support. If your arthritis pain is contributing to sleep disturbances related to arthritis pain, we can discuss potential pain management strategies to help improve your shut-eye.
Living with arthritis presents unique challenges, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept the discomfort as inevitable. Take a proactive approach to slowing the progression of arthritis with care at Manhattan Orthopedics.
Call one of our offices in Astoria, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, New York, or request an arthritis consultation online now.