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Coping with Arthritis

One of the many common complaints of aging is arthritis. The stiffness and soreness caused by swelling joints can make it more difficult to do tasks you once did easily, or even get around without discomfort. There are many ways to cope with the pain and inflammation, however.

  • Keep active: Engaging in gentle stretches and light movement regularly will help preserve and enhance joint flexibility, so keep on doing low-impact activities you enjoy. High impact activities, like tennis, jump rope, or running, put pressure on joints that can aggravate arthritis, so stick to things like swimming, walking, biking, or yoga.
  • Take breaks: While staying active is good, it’s equally important to listen to what your body is telling you. Resting when you’re sore or tired is necessary to give your joints a break. Pushing yourself when your body is telling you not to can cause you more pain in the long run, putting you out of commission for longer than if you had just rested. With time, you’ll learn to recognize your body’s signals and know when you can push yourself and when you need to back off.
  • Try different treatments: What works for one patient may not work for you, so discuss strategies and options with your health provider. You may be able to manage your condition effectively with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, or you may need something stronger that is prescribed to you. It’s all about taking care of your body and being diligent to find what works best for you.