If you've just been diagnosed with arthritis, you may have been managing the pain with anti-inflammatory medication. However, if you are looking for more homeopathic routes to manage your condition, you may want to try these four things:
1. Visiting a Chiropractor
When your spine is subluxated, or out of alignment, it can cause a chain reaction that can exacerbate your arthritis. As your body compensates for poor posture, you may put undue strain on joints that are affected by arthritis. And, if your spine is misaligned, you may be experiencing nerve pressure, making it difficult to achieve full range of motion and mobility—both vital components for managing arthritis. A chiropractor like Dr. Jason B Kaster DC might be able to help.
2. Considering Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)
MUA can be used in conjunction with chiropractic work and other therapies you may be undergoing. It's a non-invasive procedure where you'll be put under anesthesia while the doctors stretch arthritic joints and massage adhesions on and around soft tissues.
Because you'll be under anesthesia, you'll be fully relaxed and the doctors will be able to extend your range of motion without you feeling discomfort. After MUA, you'll need to do a few weeks of post-operative physical therapy so that you can extend the achieved range of motion. Your chiropractor may also recommend low-impact exercises like yoga.
3. Staying Active Even When the Weather Changes
While the scientific correlation behind extreme weather changes and arthritic conditions is still shaky, Dr. James Fant says that changes in barometric pressure have often exacerbated his patients' symptoms. If you are extremely hot or extremely cold, it may be that much easier to give into your arthritis and stay sedentary. However, a sedentary lifestyle can actually worsen your condition's symptoms. You'll feel stiff and lose muscle tone. So, it's best to dress comfortably during these weather changes and make it to your exercise class!
Swimming is one of the best exercises for arthritis since none of your joints will strike the ground. If you have severe arthritis in your knees, biking is also a good option. If you used to enjoy running and still want to continue, make sure you use knee-support bands and alternate any hard running with walking and good stretching. Livestrong.com also says that even though asphalt and concrete are both hard surfaces, you may experience more joint pain if you continue running on concrete. Stick to asphalt or rubberized tracks to minimize your pain.
4. Making Some Dietary Changes
WebMD.com says that following a Mediterranean diet--which is full of veggies, fruits, seafood, and healthy fats--has been shown to improve arthritis. If you don't care for seafood, make sure you are taking supplements of fatty-acids and fish oil. Try adding ginger root to your recipes, as the plant has anti-inflammatory properties. If you like curry dishes, try adding the spice turmeric, since it also can relieve joint pain and inflammation. Talk with your doctor or chiropractor about the best dietary changes you can make and the best supplements to take.