If you suffer from arthritis, you may not only experience joint pain and swelling, but difficulty functioning from day-to-day. Arthritis is not a walk in the park. Whether you are prone to spurts of pain or experience it all the time, going about a normal day may seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. What can you do?
Make it easy to get around your home
If you suffer from arthritis of the toes, feet, hips, or knees, it is difficult to move. Walking from one room in your home to the next, may trigger pain. Make it as easy as possible to move around. Is your home an obstacle course with furniture in the way? Enlist the help of a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. Rearrange your furniture to create a straight path. The less turns and steps you must make, the better. It also helps my ankle and foot pain to have a very comfy pair of house shoes to walk around.
Make sure all needed items are within easy reach
Regardless of what joints hurt, it can be difficult to reach for and grip. So, don’t. Do you find it too difficult to reach to the high shelf in your kitchen cupboard? If so, don’t use it. Place all foods and dishes on lower shelves or utilize your countertop. Do you find it too difficult to grasp dresser drawer handles? Instead, use your closet to hang clothes. With one simple tug, many fall right off the hanger. Learning to prevent and manage the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis includes making your life at home easier.
Keep pain relievers handy
All arthritis patients suffer from pain. Depending on the type of arthritis, this pain may be constant, or it may come and go. Either way, pain relievers are a lifesaver. They typically provide relief in as little as 15 minutes. Some over-the-counter arthritis creams provide pain relief as soon as contact is made with the skin. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but I keep Biofreeze handy for my pain. Since they do work, keep them on hand. Keep some pills and creams in your home, car, and purse. There are many ways to reduce the risk of arthritis pain, but there are no guarantees. Anything can trigger pain, so always be prepared.
Rely on walking aids
If you suffer from arthritis of the toes, feet, hips, or knees, walking can be difficult and painful. With each step you take, pressure is applied to your already painful joints. What can you do is lessen the pressure with walking aids. These may include knee braces, crutches, or canes. Remember, the less pressure you apply to your joints, the less pain you should feel.
Ask for help
Arthritis patients experience times when they feel helpless. This is often when they cannot open a jar of spaghetti sauce, walk to the mailbox without experiencing pain, or lift a heavy box. It is very frustrating to be unable to handle daily tasks without pain. Yes, you are encouraged to try, but not it if will bring on pain. Although it can be hard, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your neighbor to deliver your mail to your home and save a heavy box until a family member can help you.
Keep a journal
One of the many problems arthritis patients face is difficulty managing their pain. Talking about the difficulties you face can help. For most, the worst thing to do is to keep these emotions bottled up inside. Are you mad that you are suffering from arthritis, get that anger out of you. Deal with ease issues or complication as they arise, don’t keep things bottled up inside. When they do come out, it will be huge. It is best to talk to someone at home or join an arthritis support group. If you opt not to, keep a journal instead. Write down all feelings, including the good and the bad.
In short, there are many ways to treat and manage arthritis pain. Over-the-counter products are a lifesaver for many arthritis patients, but they are not you only option. The first step should be focusing on day-to-day tasks. When these seem easier and less painful, the rest will simply just fall into place.
The hardest of all these tips for me, was asking for help. I found though, that family members are very willing to help you ease through your day. They want me comfortable and to hopefully feel like spending time with them later in the day. I love my family!