Living With Arthritis
The earlier the diagnosis for Arthritis the more likely the treatment will be of great benefit. So if you feel that you are suffering from Arthritis don’t hesitate to find out for sure.
Pain is the major problem for those suffering with Arthritis, yet in some cases, certain doctor give this advice: ‘Keep taking the pain.’ Why? Because pain-numbing drugs suppress the body’s natural alarm signals. Ignoring these signals may lead to irreparable joint damage.
The possible side effects of such pain killing medication should also be considered, some side effects of the drugs prescribed are bleeding and high blood pressure which can lead to a heart attack so make sure you know what you are dealing with. Sometimes the side effects of medication is worse than the ailment and can even cause death.
This is not to say that you should avoid all pain killers. Ins some cases failure to suppress pain may discourage the use of painful joints, leading to stiffness, atrophy, and eventual loss of joint function. NANSAID and aspirin are widely used for pain relief. (be careful with too much aspirin) They are also prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation. Both are considered effective by many arthritis suffers and their doctors.
Though extreme cold and dampness do not cause arthritis, climatic factors do appear to influence the degree of pain felt by suffers. For some moving to a warmer climate has brought relief. But if this is not possible, there are some alternatives. A direct application of cold and heat can be useful. Applying a ice pack for 20 minutes to knee joints afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. Do this for three times a day, this can provide more pain-free movement and increased muscle strength, greater agility and better sleep.
What works for one person may not work for another, some find that a gentle massage helps greatly, “ I use to take care of a woman that I gave a massage to twice a week, I massaged her hands and feet, using lavender oil, and the rest of the week she took some pain killers and did the ice pack and heat therapy, the massage helped the most in her case.” Sometimes the massage had to be given hard which was painful but much relief afterward. A hot water bottle or a heating pad relaxes the muscles, loosens stiffness and eases pains.
If you don’t use your muscles you loose them, although painful exercise is one of the most important things that you can do, bike riding, walking and swimming are great forms of exercise. When you are in pain during the exercise, take a break, if your joints become inflamed and red, take it slow and do a little at a time.
Acupuncture, homeopathy, and osteopathy have helped some also natural herbs such as comfrey, parsley, nettles, alfalfa, dandelion, black cohosh, sarsaparilla and aloe vera.
Diet is also very important, use as little sodium as possible, no coffee should be indulged. Fish and lean meat, with fish-oil supplements, reduces stiffness and pain in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight also puts pressure on the joints and muscles.
Arthritis is not something easy to live with, but if you can find ways to do things for others and take your mind off of yourself and keep your attitude positive, you can have a happy productive life, and let your loved ones know how they can be of help, don’t be too proud to ask for help and say what you need. You deserve it