Are you familiar with the feeling of waking up to stiff and painful joints?
Does it take a while for you to get moving?
If you answered yes to these questions, it might be the first sign of arthritis. Arthritis can affect people of all ages and genders, and it refers to a joint disorder accompanied by inflammation.
In this blog post, we will explore the causes and symptoms of arthritis and provide actionable suggestions for managing joint discomfort.
Causes of Arthritis:
Arthritis can stem from various factors, such as joint wear and tear or injury (osteoarthritis), gout triggered by diet and alcohol consumption (more common in men), or an overactive immune system (rheumatoid arthritis), which causes your immune system to attack the joint linings.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
Painful joints, stiff joints
Hard bumps of tissue (nodules) under the skin on your arms
Reduced range of motion
If you answered yes to one or more of the above then you may need to be proactive in your health and take action.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor probably gave you a few treatment suggestions such as medications, exercises, dietary changes.
It's important to remember that each person's experience with arthritis is unique, and what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.
Here are some suggestions that have worked for my patients:
Heat & Movement
Combat morning joint stiffness by trying a hot shower, or consider using an infrared sauna or infrared heating pad for more effective relief. Regular exercise and movement are essential for managing painful joints. Exercise doesn't have to be intense; simple activities like walking on a treadmill, strolling in your neighborhood, or practicing joint movements can make a significant difference.
Consider exploring gentle movements like Tai Chi or Chi Gong, which offer numerous health benefits.
Given that arthritis involves chronic inflammation, making changes to your diet can not only relieve specific pain symptoms but also improve your overall health. It's important to be aware of pro-inflammatory foods that can exacerbate inflammation in the body, such as gluten, dairy, vegetable oils, sugar, and a few others.
Ever heard of nightshade foods? In addition to these pro-inflammatory foods, certain items known as nightshades—such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers—contain enzymes that have been associated with triggering inflammation and fluid retention throughout the body. Dr. Childers, a horticulturist who has conducted extensive research in this area, has found a link between nightshade foods and symptoms like stiffness, muscle and joint pain, and aches.
Here's some more detailed information about nightshade foods.
By avoiding these pro-inflammatory foods and being mindful of the potential impact of nightshades, you can take a proactive step in managing your arthritis symptoms and promoting better overall health. Remember, making informed dietary choices can play a significant role in your journey toward feeling better and reducing inflammation in your body.
Medical massage has long been recognized as a beneficial tool for individuals with arthritis. It can help alleviate pain, relax the muscles around the joints, improve range of motion, and reduce discomfort.
Local? Book your session today
Low-Level Light Therapy
LLLT, also known as Cold Laser therapy, involves the use of red or infrared light wavelengths to address inflammation, pain, and tissue repair. Research supports the effectiveness of light therapy in managing various conditions, including arthritis.
Bonus Step: Product Suggestions
While it may be tempting to rely solely on anti-inflammatory medications for temporary relief, it's important to bear in mind that they should only be used in the short term due to potential side effects. Instead, consider implementing long-term solutions for managing arthritis.
To recap, focus on making dietary changes to reduce inflammation, prioritize daily movement to keep your joints lubricated, and try one supplement at a time to evaluate its effectiveness.
Remember, arthritis doesn't disappear overnight, so be patient and persistent in your efforts to improve your condition.
PS: Check out 4 tips to living pain free at any age