Keeping tabs on arthritis
This time of year, some people say that their joints can feel a snowstorm coming. While scientists can’t explain this phenomena, one thing is for sure – cold temperatures can cause sore, stiff joints, especially for people with arthritis. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, tells us everything we need to know about managing arthritis.
What is arthritis and how common is it?
Nurse Rose: Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain, with affects about 54 million people in the U.S. About 31 million Americans have osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis.
How can you tell if you might have arthritis?
Nurse Rose: Symptoms may vary based on the type of arthritis you have, but these are some common signs of arthritis.
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Swelling around the joint
- Warmth and/or redness around the joints
- Decreased range of motion
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
What are some tips for people struggling with arthritis?
Nurse Rose: Try these tips to help manage the most common type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis.
- Manage your weight
- Get regular physical activity like walking or biking
- Strength-train a couple of times per week
- Stretch often and try yoga or tai chi
- Talk with your doctor about anti-inflammatory medications to help manage your pain
- Try physical therapy
- Explore natural and alternative therapies like nutritional supplements, acupuncture, massage, relaxation techniques and hydrotherapy