Arthritis is one of the more common chronic diseases in the United States — 58.5 million adults in the United States (1 in 4) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. For anyone who suffers from joint pain and inflammation, moving around can be difficult and, unfortunately, there’s no cure for any form of arthritis.
There are, however, effective ways to better manage arthritis so that you can move freely and without pain. To get you started, Jason LaMendola, PT, and the team of skilled physical therapy experts here at TLC Physical Therapy pulled together four great tips to prevent you from becoming a prisoner of your arthritis.
When arthritis strikes your joints, the last thing you may feel like doing is moving, but that’s exactly what you should be doing. Your joints are designed for movement and, if you stay still, inflammation and stiffness can set in.
Moving around can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, which helps healing resources to reach your damaged joints.
While we’re not asking you to go out and run a marathon, we do ask that you engage in at least 30 minutes of activity each day, whether it’s a walk with a friend or doing chores around the house.
Your diet can play a role in your arthritis, so you want to eat for good joint health. For joint pain and inflammation, you want a diet full of antioxidants to promote cellular health, as well as anti-inflammatory agents.
The Arthritis Foundation reports that the Mediterranean Diet is the best for those with arthritis. This diet is full of whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. What it is not full of are processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars, all of which can increase inflammation in your body.
For more information on the Mediterranean Diet, click here.
A stretching regiment is a great way to loosen stiff joints and maintain your range of motion and flexibility. Because arthritis can strike any joint in your body, you should focus on those areas, though we recommend daily body-wide stretching for improved musculoskeletal health.
The following tip helps to ensure you are targeting the correct soft tissues during stretching.
The benefits of physical therapy (PT) when you have arthritis are almost without limits. Through our physical therapy, our overriding goal is to help you move as freely as possible, which we do by:
Each PT program is unique and tailored to your needs. Whether you have advanced arthritis and just want to be able to function around the home or your arthritis is preventing you from enjoying your once active lifestyle, we can help.
The bottom line is there are ways in which you can lead a happy and active life despite an arthritis diagnosis. To get on the road to pain-free movement, please contact one of our offices on the North and South Shores of Staten Island, in Englishtown, New Jersey, or Midtown Manhattan in New York City to schedule an appointment.