Any type of arthritis is difficult to deal with, but inflammatory arthritis has special challenges. When you have this form of arthritis, it’s imperative to get your symptoms under control.
At Southern Pain Specialists, our team offers expert care for many different forms of arthritis. If you’re dealing with joint pain, Dr. Kenneth Varley provides unrivaled expertise in pain management and other helpful treatments.
Here, we suggest lifestyle remedies to help ease your joint discomfort so you can better enjoy life.
Understanding inflammatory arthritis
There are many forms of arthritis that can affect your joints, including degenerative and inflammatory arthritis. While degenerative arthritis causes the breakdown of the protective tissues from wear-and-tear, inflammatory arthritis is due to a malfunction in your immune system.
Inflammatory arthritis is considered a chronic autoimmune problem. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your joints, causing several uncomfortable symptoms. There are several different types of inflammatory arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the best known forms of inflammatory arthritis. It happens when your immune system puts a target on the lining in your joints, causing inflammation and pain in certain joints throughout your body. Other types of inflammatory arthritis include gout, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.
Inflammatory arthritis is much less common than degenerative arthritis, but it can affect you at any age.
Tips for managing your inflammatory arthritis
When you have inflammatory arthritis, it’s important that you understand how to take care of yourself. Taking charge of your life is the best way to minimize flare-ups so you have less pain.
If you’re looking to get more control over your condition, these five lifestyle tricks can help keep your arthritis in check:
1. Get some exercise
Although it may seem difficult at first, regular exercise can lessen the pain of inflammatory arthritis. If this is a new concept for you, talk to Dr. Varley about what exercises are best to start out with.
Once you get into a routine, it’s much easier to keep your body moving, as your flexibility and strength increase. Simply walking everyday is a great option for inflammatory arthritis. Yoga and other forms of relaxation exercise are also good choices.
2. Catch up on rest
Just as important is rest. This is a vital aspect of keeping your inflammatory arthritis in check.
It’s imperative that you listen to your body, especially if you’re experiencing a flare-up of your condition. While regular gentle moving is important, too much activity or overextending yourself can worsen the inflammation in your body, causing more pain. Sometimes, your body simply needs to take a break.
3. Limit your stress
Stress does a lot of bad things to your body, especially when you suffer from inflammatory conditions like arthritis. This is particularly true when you’re in the midst of a flare-up.
Taking time to calm yourself helps your body deal with the arthritis. Whether that means listening to music or participating in meditation, reducing your stress is vital when you have inflammatory arthritis.
4. Watch your weight
Excess weight takes a toll on your joints, particularly when you suffer from arthritis. Obesity may also worsen the condition, as extra pounds put more pressure and stress on your joints on a regular basis.
Simply losing a little bit of excess weight can significantly improve your symptoms. While this isn’t always easy, it’s a vital part of living with and managing inflammatory arthritis.
5. Eat a healthy diet
Inflammation in your body is largely due to your diet. When you have inflammatory arthritis, it’s imperative that you eat a diet full of healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
Stay away from highly processed foods, sugar, fried foods, caffeine, and alcohol. All of these foods can lead to inflammation and could possibly cause a flare in your arthritis symptoms.
Partner with an arthritis specialist
These lifestyle changes may be able to control your symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. However, you may still need regular treatment from Dr. Varley to completely keep the disease in check.