Physical therapists can show you exercises to help keep your muscles strong and your joints from becoming stiff. They can help you learn how to use special equipment to move better. They can also show you non-medication ways to control pain. If you’ve had surgery, they can give you pre- and post-surgical care and show you the correct use of devices such as walking aids.
That’s because people with rheumatoid arthritis are at ahigher risk for cardiovascular disease. She advises her patients to eat a heart healthy diet and watch their cholesterol, which is good advice for anyone. But, as Dr. Manno tells her RA patients, “It applies 20-fold to you.” What’s good for your heart, as it turns out, may also be helpful in relieving your arthritis symptoms. Including specific foods in the diet can strengthen the bones, muscles, and joints and help the body to fight inflammation and disease. Keeping to a healthy weight can be difficult for some people, especially those who have a medical condition that reduces their mobility, such as osteoarthritis.
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One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These “spurs” carry the formal name “osteophytes.” They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.
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If you have rheumatoid arthritis, ask your doctor if you should exercise during general or local flares. One option is to work through your joint flares by doing only range-of-motion exercises, just to keep your body moving, or exercising in water to cushion your joints. Talk to your doctor about fitting exercise into your treatment plan.
- Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold, joint protection, pacing your efforts, self-help skills and sometimes surgery.
- Heat and rest are very effective in the short run for most people with the disease.
- Regular exercise is also important to keep the joints mobile.
- It affects both men and women and usually occurs after age 45.
Dietary choices are always important to overall health, but if you have arthritis, the foods you choose can have a surprising impact on your joint health. You may find some arthritis trigger foods cause pain, stiffness, and swelling, while others actually alleviate your symptoms.
For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces pressure on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can reduce pain and improve function for people with arthritis. Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around one or more of your joints. plaque psoriasis Most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joint or joints. Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also affect the immune system and some internal organs of the body.
What types of exercises are best for you depends on your type of arthritis and which joints are involved. Your doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to find the exercise plan that gives you the most benefit with the least aggravation of your joint pain. But you don’t need to run a marathon or swim as fast as an Olympic competitor to help reduce arthritis symptoms. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving.
Rheumatologists and orthopedists specialize in treating people with arthritis or related diseases that affect the joints, muscles, bones, skin and other tissues. Most rheumatologists are internists who have had further training in the care of people with arthritis and related diseases. Orthopedists can offer treatment methods including surgery.