Arthritis refers to the pain associated with moving joints. It may result from a variety of factors, including genetics and lifestyle habits, and millions of people turn to medications for managing the pain. However, arthritic pain is susceptible to much more than just medications. Drug-free strategies to reduce arthritic pain rely on a person’s five senses to combat the effects of arthritis, including anxiety surrounding pain, reports the Arthritis Foundation. While medication treatment may be available, those with arthritis will benefit from the use of non-medication approaches to managing symptoms, and they should speak with an expert, such as the trained physical therapists at Appalachian Physical Therapy, to discuss drug-free strategies to reduce its impact.
Think About the Good Times.
Simply spending time reviewing a photo album and connecting happy memories with images has a powerful effect on the mind and body. It provides a short-term escape from the trials of life today. Go throw an old photo book when the pain begins to impact your day.
Leverage the Power of Nature.
Sunlight aids the body in metabolizing vitamin D. This vitamin is responsible for bone health and the proper function of the immune system. Since arthritis involves the deterioration of the musculoskeletal system, getting enough vitamin D is crucial to keeping it at bay. Furthermore, sunshine triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, boosting mood and acting as a natural painkiller, notes the Arthritis Foundation.
Make Healthier Food Choices.
Depending on the type of arthritis, dietary improvements may benefit the condition. As explained by the National Institutes of Health, treatment for rheumatoid arthritis combined with improved dietary choices increases the chances of remission. Furthermore, a healthier diet offers advantages in other areas of health. For example, foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark chocolate, may reduce risk for cardiovascular disease and improve mood, reports EatingWell. It leads back to better management of pain.
Consider the Use of Non-Traditional Therapies, Such as Yoga or Meditation.
Non-traditional means of treating health conditions, including yoga and guided medication, have a history of improving arthritis pain. Yoga and medication help a person relax, says the Mayo Clinic, reducing the sense of pain.
Maintain a Healthy Weight.
Excess weight places an extra burden on the body, and for those living with arthritis, extra weight amounts to more pain. However, any exercise regimen should be under the supervision of a primary care physician and trained experts, such as occupational and physical therapists.
Work With Occupational and Physical Therapists to Avoid Unnecessary Injury.
Occupational therapy focuses on fine motor movements, such as those used to hold a fork during meals. Physical therapy takes a whole-body approach to understanding the exact motions of joints and how to move them without causing pain. The Mayo Clinic continues with how the right combination of lifestyle choices and therapy may reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Leverage the Power of Physical Therapy and Alternatives to Medications at Last.
Arthritis affects the lives of more than 31 million Americans, and that statistic will double to more than 78 million by 2040, says the Arthritis Foundation. All races, genders and ages may develop arthritis, and while medication treatment may help, it is far from the sole solution. Stop treating your pain with NSAIDs and other medications alone, and take advantage of an alternative, such as physical therapy, instead. Request a consultation with one of our three offices today.