As regular readers know, I suffer from arthritis. Mine is in my hands at the base of each thumb. Because of it, I have difficulty turning a key in a lock, buttoning and unbuttoning clothes and generally using my hands to grasp. So, I am always on the lookout for tips on living with arthritis and dealing with the pain. More than half of us over age 65 suffer from some variety of osteoarthritis. After age 65 more than 75 percent of arthritis sufferers are women.
“You can relieve much of the discomfort of arthritis by adopting a healthy lifestyle and using simple self-care techniques,” so says the Mayo Clinic in its book The Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging.
Following are the guidelines for living with arthritis from the Mayo Clinic:
“Control your weight. Excess weight puts added stress on joints in your back, hips, knees and feet. Excess weight can also make joint replacement surgery more difficult.
“Develop an exercise program. Appropriate exercie helps keep joints flexible and builds muscle strength. Work with your doctor.
“Apply heat, especially before exercising. It will ease your pain, relax painful tense muscles and increase blood flow in the area.
“Apply cold for occasional flareups. Cold may dull the sensation of pain the first day or two. It can also decrease muscle spasms.
“Wear comfortable shoes that properly support your weight. This is especially important if you have arthritis in your weight-bearing joints or back.
“Maintain good posture. Poor posture causes uneven weight distribution and may strain your ligaments and muscles. Walking can improve your posture.
“Practice relaxation techniques. Hypnosis, guided imagery, deep breathing and muscle relaxation can all be used to control pain.
“If you’re tired, rest. Prioritize your energy. Arthritis can make you prone to deep exhaustion.”
I recommend checking out the Mayo Clinic book which has tons of useful information on virtually every aspect of aging.
For further info on arthritis, the following posts may be helpful: How do I get relief from Arthritis in my hands, Shoulder Arthritis, Diet and exercise for knee Arthritis, Four ways exercise helps with Arthritis – Harvard, How to handle Arthritis through natural healing, Oleda Baker on Arthritis and Alcohol, Is it Okay to exercise with Arthritis?