Managing Your Arthritis
Diagnosis: What kind of arthritis do I have?
There are more than 100 types of arthritis. It is important to know what kind of arthritis you have so you can get the right treatments. Make an appointment with your doctor today if you haven't been diagnosed and think you may have arthritis. Enroll in a Living Well Workshop today.
Keep those joints moving! Joints are nourished by synovial fluid moving within the joint. The only way to keep that fluid moving is to move your body. Remember, low impact exercise is great for arthritis and there are a variety of options to explore such as swimming or strength training.
Studies show that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three or more days a week can help you move more easily. Walking can also be a fun way to increase your mood, increase your flexibility and decrease pain.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
This is especially important for those with arthritis. If you are overweight those extra pounds could be contributing to your joint pain. The more you weigh, the more stress you place on your joints. Talk with your doctor to find out if losing weight would help your arthritis. Losing 10 pounds reduces the stress on each knee by 40 to 80 pounds and the stress on each hip by 30 pounds!
For specific recommendations on how to lose/maintain weight ask your doctor or consult a registered dietitian. To find your healthy weight or Body Mass Index (BMI) visit this site , then search for BMI. To learn more about obesity in Utah visit health.utah.gov/obesity.
Eat Healthy Foods
Nutrition is very important for everyone, but it is especially important for people dealing with health problems. If you are not sure what a healthy diet is, ask your doctor or talk to a registered dietitian.
Protect Your Joints
Learn how to protect your joints and avoid excess stress. Protecting your joints will make doing daily tasks easier. Pay attention to your joint position. Use larger or stronger joints to carry things. For example use your forearms or palms to carry your grocery bag not your fingers. You may also need to use a cane or walking device.