World Arthritis Day was initiated in the year 1996 by Arthritis And Rheumatism International (ARI) and is observed every year since then on October 12. The chief objective is to promote global awareness on RMDs (Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases) and educate people on how early diagnosis and subsequent treatment can vastly alleviate pain symptoms and improve quality of life for the affected patients.
Arthritis refers to a debilitating condition characterized by inflammation of the joints in the body, such as the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. There are many types of RMDs, with the most common being osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Currently, nearly 350 million people worldwide suffer from arthritis and it is a global epidemic, affecting children, young adults and the elderly. Also Read: Juvenile Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Arthritis can arise due to hereditary factors, aging and being overweight. The symptoms of arthritis consist of swollen joints, decreased range of motion in muscles and extreme rigidity of arms and legs, particularly after prolonged periods of rest, such as being seated at work for long hours on end. Also Read: Stiff From Sitting? Arthritis At The Workplace
The best way to keep the agonizing signs of arthritis under control is to seek prompt medical assistance upon experiencing any kind of joint pain post the age of 30, get diagnosed accurately and undergo appropriate treatment and medication.
This, coupled with incorporating fit and positive lifestyle practices, will certainly prevent serious bone and joint damage and help patients recover well and regain flexible muscle function.
Basic Guidelines To Reduce Pain In Joints
1. Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
A well-balanced diet, comprising ample amounts of anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, berries, ginger, nuts, legumes and fibers will work wonders to mitigate pain in the joints and keep body weight in check. Also keep in mind to steer clear of fried snacks, processed foods, excessive sugar and salt intake, smoking and alcohol, to reduce tenderness in joints.
2. Regular Exercise
Merely 15 minutes of physical activity every day will improve range of motion in muscles. Moreover, fundamental stretching exercises of wrists, elbows, hips and knees will help to promote a sense of balance in the body. Remember to wear soft, comfortable footwear with flat surfaces, like sneakers or flip-flops, to aid in reducing pressure exerted on knees.
3. Hot And Cold Compress
A hot pack placed on the affected joint will improve blood flow to the region and help to relax the strained muscles. Cold compress or ice packs can immensely diminish pain signals traveling via nerves and also keep inflammation in the joints under control. Apply a hot or cold pack for 10 minutes, to relieve pain and discomfort.
4. Physical Therapy
Routinely go for physical therapy appointments with a certified physical therapist, as recommended by the healthcare professional, in order to enhance muscle power and mood. These carefully organized movements of aerobics, dancing and low-impact strength training will help to maintain proper body posture, significantly promote flexibility and function in muscles, besides effectively eliminating pain.
5. Yoga And Meditation
Arthritis affects day-to-day productivity of an individual and can cause anxiety and depression. Meditation techniques and simple yoga asanas performed for a few minutes every morning will help to focus on positive aspects, improve breath control, elevate low moods and relax stressed out muscles, bones and joints by reducing the mind’s sensitivity to pain.
Following these fundamental health tips on a regular basis, besides adhering to the schedule of medication and physical therapy as prescribed by the doctor will ensure that arthritis, though a chronic ailment, can be managed effectively and quality of life, especially in later years, is vastly enhanced.