National Arthritis awareness week is observed from the 7th till 13th of October to highlight the pain and disability that arthritis causes. It raises awareness about the experience of over 10 million people in the UK who suffer from arthritis.
What is arthritis?
It is a condition when the joints have swelling and tenderness which causes pain and discomfort.
It usually worsens with age . There are two types of Arthritis:
Rheumatoid – The body’s immune system starts attacking the bone joints which leads to pain and swelling. It affects the outer covering of the joint first and then spreads across it. This causes the bone to become disfigured and the cartilage to wear down.
Osteoarthritis– It is the more common type of arthritis, nearly affecting 9 million people in their 40s.It is caused by wear and tear of aging joints, medical conditions like gout, obesity , injury etc. The symptoms are similar to Rheumatoid arthritis as there is presence of swelling, stiffness and pain . Osteoarthritis can degrade cartilage, change bone shape and cause inflammation, resulting in pain, stiffness and loss of mobility.
Find out more about Arthritis and its symptoms here.
Here is how you can manage arthritis pain at home
1. Strengthen muscles around the joint .
Keep the joint in motion and strengthen the muscle around it by engaging in regular light activity and exercise. For example, simple leg raises or low impact cardio like walking.
2. Avoid stairs
If you have two levels in your house, try to limit your movements to one level only as going up and down the stairs can cause stress to the hip and knees.
3.Try cold and heat therapy
Applying cold and heat both can be soothing for an aching joint and is an effective way to reduce pain. Heat relaxes the muscles around the joint but if the joint is swollen, opt for a cold compress.
Try to manage your weight in order to reduce the stress on your joints. Research has found that some foods like Green tea, salmon, berries, green vegetables, Ginger etc are healthy to consume during arthritis and help in reducing the inflammation. Find out more about some of the superfoods that help with arthritis here.
5.Remove hazards from the house to avoid injuries
Make your house fall proof to avoid injuring the joints and inviting potential arthritis. As we age, our joints become more and more susceptible to the condition, having an injury can make it worse.
Find out how to fall proof your home here.