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 about RMDs (Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases) and educate people on how early diagnosis and subsequent treatment can vastly alleviate pain symptoms and improve the 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.
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Arthritis can arise due to hereditary factors, ageing 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.
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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 And Improve Bone Health:
Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
A well-balanced diet, comprising ample amounts of anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, berries, ginger, nuts, legumes and fibres 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.
Merely 15 minutes of physical activity every day will improve the 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 the pressure exerted on the knees.
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. A cold compress or ice pack can immensely diminish pain signals travelling 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.
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.
Yoga And Meditation
Arthritis affects the 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.
Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining optimal body weight is crucial for alleviating joint pain in arthritis, since being overweight or obese invariably put excess pressure on the hips and knees, leading to their degradation. Consult with a doctor, nutritionist and physiotherapist to set a realistic goal of shedding surplus body fat and attaining a healthy body weight, which reduces further damage to the joints with increasing age and exerts less force on them and minimises pain while enhancing their range of motion.
While adhering to a wholesome diet with regular low-intensity exercise and routine physiotherapy stretching sessions certainly helps keep joint degeneration in arthritis under control, anti-inflammatory supplements complement these restorative measures in mitigating joint discomfort. Proven supplements of curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric, ginger and other herbal extracts of boswellia, willow bark are known to lessen inflammation in the system due to arthritis. Keep in mind to always seek the advice of a doctor before taking any supplements to ensure consuming them in the appropriate dose and avoid taking them if they trigger any side effects.
Following these fundamental health tips regularly, 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.