Tips to help prevent and manage arthritis pain

Some simple tips for living with arthritis

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In this video learn more about ways to help prevent, treat and manage joint pain. Remember, if you have any questions about joint pain, don’t hesitate to pop in and see your local Boots pharmacist for advice and information.

Arthritis can affect many people in different ways and, although the hands are most common, you could experience pain in hips, knees and other joints. Although there is no cure, there are a few tips that can make living with a painful condition a little easier, helping you to take control.

Help prevent arthritis pain

  • Remain active, but know your limits. Swimming is a great way to strengthen your body and maintain a good range of movement and mobility. However, too much vigorous exercise can do more harm than good, so try gradually building on 10 minutes of exercise at a time to learn what works for you. Remember to always warm up and if you are aching more than one hour after exercise, it’s likely you have overdone it. Your doctor can advise about the type and level of exercise that is right for you
  • Even when not in acute pain, be mindful about how you use your joints. For example, hold a book in your palms instead of your fingers, carry shopping bags in the crook of your arm or avoid lifting heavy objects
  • To maintain healthy bones eating a healthy varied and balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D will help. Good sources of calcium include dairy foods (eg milk, cheese) and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Vitamin D is made by our body from the effect of sunlight on the skin. It is also found in a small number of foods such as oily fish (eg salmon, sardines), egg yolks and red meat. From late March/April to the end of September most of us should be able to get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight (but take care to protect your skin with sunscreen and avoid turning red or getting burnt). Between October and early March in the UK we are less likely to get any vitamin D from sunlight
  • By keeping your weight within a healthy range it will help alleviate pressure on sore joints

Arthritis pain management products

Treatment of arthritis pain

  • When a flare-up hits, you might experience acute pain and want to consider some pain relief. Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen may make you more comfortable, pop in store to see your local Boots pharmacist or see your GP for guidance on which medicines might help you during your flare-ups. Although pain relief medicines won’t treat the underlying arthritis, it can provide some relief from the pain it causes – remember to always read the label and never exceed the stated dosage. If you’re on other medication, check with your GP or a pharmacist that pain relief is safe to take alongside it
  • Heat and moderate rest can help you control your pain during a flare-up. For those with arthritis in the back or knee a heat pad may be useful for its soothing effects, while the relaxation and me-time can help you unwind and ease tension

Arthritis pain management products

Management of arthritis pain

  • Know the power of your diet while managing joint pain: a healthy diet that balances all food groups should give you enough nutrition to help you maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can really help take excess pressure off your joints and help ease symptoms
  • It may be daunting to accept that you might benefit from the support of a mobility aid such as a cane or shower seat, but the sooner you set yourself up with the right aids, the easier it will be to help manage your symptoms and pain. Even small things, like an electric can opener for the kitchen, could make a positive difference to your everyday life
  • If you live with chronic pain, staying active is important. Bed rest is likely to make your pain worse, so steady, low impact activity in short intervals are ideal. Regular exercise can help reduce stiffness and help improve your range of movement

Management products

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