The Mayo Clinic is the largest integrated, nonprofit medical practice and research organization in the world and it has a lot to say about arthritis and joint pain.
The Mayo Clinic defines arthritis
as "inflammation of one or more of your joints." For all types of the disease, the most common symptoms are joint stiffness and pain.
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The two forms that doctors most frequently diagnose are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage over time while rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body begins attacking its own cartilage lining.
When it comes to living a healthy, mobile life, living with arthritis can be challenging. The Mayo Clinic also provides suggestions
on what to do and not do.
Here are some of their recommendations:
1. Talk to your doctor
The clinic recommends knowing what condition your body is in. Asking a doctor specifically what type of arthritis you may have and finding out if joints are already damaged can help with treating the disease.
2. Keep moving
When fighting rheumatoid arthritis, mobility helps. The clinic suggests doing moderate exercise every day but avoiding strenuous workouts and those with repetitive movements. Even while sitting, take the time to get up and walk around. When using certain muscles repetitively, make sure to pace yourself and stop every so often so the joint is not overused.
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3. Manage weight
About 60 percent of individuals who are overweight have some form of arthritis, Caring.com reported
. Having extra weight contributes to arthritis, and slowly losing it can help with mobility and pain.
4. Don’t smoke
According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking places stress on connective tissues. This may amplify the pain caused by arthritis.
5. Take medications
The clinic suggests taking over-the-counter drugs to help with arthritis pain. Creams with capsaicin that may be applied directly to certain regions are also a possible option. If medications are being used daily, the clinic recommends patients see their doctor.
6. Take care of psychological effects
Arthritis patients are at an increased risk of developing depression. If this happens, The Mayo Clinic stresses disrupting mind-body interactions through cognitive behavioral or relaxation therapy, acupuncture, alternating between applying heat and cold, and massage.
7. Keep a positive attitude
Since arthritis may make it difficult or even impossible for people to do some of the daily activities of life or hobbies they love, it can be easy to only look through a negative lens about the situation. Negative thoughts can be so powerful that they increase disability and pain, according to the clinic. Instead, Mayo Clinic recommends focusing on distractions and calming statements.
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