As well as being a pain, arthritis can be unpredictable. One week you could be dandy, and the next you won’t want to get out of bed. There’s one effective treatment you may be best doing.
First, the charity Versus Arthritis explained how arthritis affects a joint.
A joint is where two or more bones meets, such as in the knees, which is surrounded by a strong capsule that holds the join in place.
Inside the capsule are ligaments (think of strong elastic bands) that provide additional support to keep the joint in the correct position.
The body then tries to compensate for this by increasing the amount of thick fluid inside the joint.
This can cause the joint capsule to stretch, meaning the joint may lose its shape.
Although it can seem counterintuitive when in pain, one of the most effective pain remedies is to exercise.
Keeping active will help you maintain a healthy weight, reducing the pressure on the joints.
In addition, regularly exercising will help to strengthen muscles around a joint, helping to stabilise it.
You may not feel like moving about a lot when you’re in pain, but the benefits far outweigh the physical discomfort you may feel at first.
Exercise helps the joints become more supple, and lessens the likelihood of stiff joints.
Joints will also be able to maintain their range of movement, which is great news if you don’t fancy being restricted in later life.
Exercise can release endorphins too – the body’s natural chemical painkillers.
As you get moving, enough to raise your heart beat, endorphins released in the bloodstream will contribute to feelings of wellness.
Lastly, regularly getting your heart pumping (by exercising) can help you get a good night’s sleep.
This is beneficial for arthritis, as undisturbed sleep can help the body repair itself.
What type of exercise?
Low-impact exercise is usually best for people suffering from any form of arthritis.
Examples of low-impact exercises that’ll be beneficial include swimming, cycling, brisk walking, yoga, T’ai Chi and pilates.
The key is to start exercising gently and gradually increase the amount you do.
Other pain relief can be achieved by taking painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.