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Managing Arthritis: Essential Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Joints

Written By  Go Vita
Managing arthritis

Arthritis is a catch-all term for over 150 conditions that mess with your muscles, bones, and joints. Common symptoms include pain, stiffness, limited movement, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected areas. Not all joint and muscle pain means you have arthritis.

Understanding Arthritis

Sometimes, it's just from injuries or strains from things like sports or heavy lifting. If you’ve got pain and stiffness that stick around for more than a few days, or if your joints are swollen, red, and warm, it's a smart move to see a doctor.

 

Osteoarthritis: A Common Type of Arthritis

One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This condition causes changes in the joints that lead to pain and trouble moving. Often thought of as 'wear and tear,' osteoarthritis can affect any joint, especially the knees, hips, fingers, and big toe. It’s more common in people over 40 or those with past joint injuries, but it can strike anyone. In fact, about one in five Australians over 45 has osteoarthritis.

 

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness, pain during movement, joint instability, limited range of motion, swelling, muscle weakness, joint sounds (like creaking or cracking), and bony spurs forming around the joints.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include being overweight, past joint injuries, aging, repetitive movements at work, genetic predisposition, and a higher occurrence in women.

Managing Arthritis: Medical and Lifestyle Approaches

Medical treatments can help, but living a healthy lifestyle also makes a big difference. Here are five lifestyle tips and supplements that can help manage arthritis:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Extra weight puts more stress on your joints, which can make arthritis worse. Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise can help you stay at a healthy weight and take some of the pressure off your joints.

2. Exercise Regularly
Low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and yoga can improve joint flexibility, strength, and overall mobility without making pain worse. A healthcare professional or physical therapist can help you create a personalized exercise plan.

3. Incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods, like fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce arthritis symptoms. Try adding these to your diet regularly.

4. Take Joint Health Supplements
Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown to improve joint health and reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. Turmeric and Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, can also help reduce inflammation linked to arthritis.

5. Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress can make arthritis symptoms worse by increasing inflammation and pain. Techniques like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

 

By incorporating these lifestyle tips and joint health supplements into your routine, you can complement medical treatments and better manage arthritis symptoms, leading to a better quality of life. Always talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen or making significant lifestyle changes, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are on medication.

Information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace advice or treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any allergies or diagnosed conditions, or are taking prescription medications, always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements.

 

About Margaret Leedham

Margaret Leedham brings a wealth of experience as a naturopath, educator, product developer

and writer to her role as the Brand Manager for NutriVital.

 
With over 24 years of experience, Margaret has also helped thousands of clients reach their health

and wellness goals through an evidence-based approach.

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Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.