Arthritis pain: Do''ts
Will physical activity reduce or increase your arthritis pain? Get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. You can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions with exercise, medication and stress reduction. How do you know what will work for you?
Here are some do''ts to help you figure it out.
Whatever your condition, it will be easier to stay ahead of your pain if you:
- Learn all you can about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged
- Enlist your doctor, friends and family in managing your pain
- Tell your doctor if your pain changes
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- Keep your joints moving. Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.
- Use good posture. A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.
- Know your limits. Balance activity and rest, and don''t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that''t used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.
Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain. Use alone or with oral medication.
Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications don''t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.
- Focusing only on pain. Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.
Physical and emotional integration
It''re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.
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Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include: