Osteoarthritis sufferers, myself included, have the tendency to stay in one spot for a prolonged period of time. This is because even the thought of moving with an arthritic joint can be painful!
However, staying in a fixed position for a long time, such as on the couch watching TV or in a long car ride, can exacerbate the stiffness. For the sake of your painful joints and reducing stiffness, it is important to move around at least every hour.
Breaking up your fixed position by walking around for a minute or two can greatly reduce the amount of stiffness you experience.
Heat therapy can drastically reduce the amount of stiffness you experience due to your arthritis. Heat can come in the form of a disposable heat pads or permanent heat sources like heating blankets.
The disposable heat pads are great to stick on most areas of the body and work up to eight hours usually, but can be expensive if you’re trying to use it every day. A heating blanket is also great because you can stick it on indefinitely and it’s a worthwhile investment.
My only warning for heat therapy is to make sure you don’t maintain direct exposure to the skin for prolonged periods of time, because it can cause burns.
I am fortunate that I experience minimal swelling, but that is not the case for many other arthritis suffers.
The irritation caused by the friction of worn down surfaces can often lead to swelling and fluid collection around the arthritic joints. This swelling is both uncomfortable and can add to the cycle of pain that arthritis suffers experiences.
Cooling or icing the swollen joint for 15 to 20 minutes every hour can be very effective to reduce swelling. Unfortunately I am not aware of any disposable cooling therapies that can be used on the go (feel free to let me know if there are) so it mostly will be used at home.
However, there are great ice wraps out there than can be taken straight from the freezer and fold to the contour of your joint. My disclaimer for ice therapy is similar to heat therapy in that it is best not to apply ice directly to the skin because it can cause damage.
Know When to Seek Help From Healthcare Professionals
You can do everything in your power to manage the swelling and still feel like you’re losing the battle. If you feel this way, you’re not alone!
However, swelling that is resistant to home remedies could be a sign of an underlying problem and it could be time to seek the help of a healthcare professional. The expert advice and therapies provided by a healthcare professional to reduce swelling can help immensely.
Although it can be argued that these symptoms are not a direct manifestation of osteoarthritis, many sufferers of the disease experience these symptoms.
Fatigue can be a natural result of having osteoarthritis. It can be exhausting to deal with an unpleasant feelings brought on by the disease for days on end.
Doctor’s appointments, osteoarthritis medications, and worrying about the pain can take an emotional and physical toll on your energy. Another reason for OA fatigue can be that the discomfort of osteoarthritis does not go away simply by resting or lying down; it can be very difficult to get a good night’s sleep or concentrate on relaxing if one is constantly in pain.
Exercise and Nutrition
A proper nutrition and regular exercise program help to increase your energy when dealing with fatigue. Certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and lean meats are known to give a boost to your energy.
Sugar, simple carbohydrates, and fried food are prone to making you feel lethargic and lacking energy. Changing the frequency of your meals can also help to increase energy levels and it varies person to person.