May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and the team at Gulf Coast Health Center is taking the opportunity to help educate our patients about arthritis while providing them with tips for living a healthier, more active, and less painful life with the condition.
5 Tips to Prevent or Manage Arthritis
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying around excess weight not only puts you at an increased risk for systemic health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but it also exacerbates the painful symptoms of arthritis. Being overweight or obese means that your joints have to carry a heavier load. This puts an excessive amount of stress on your joints, resulting in worse arthritis pain.
2. Exercise Regularly
Although it might sound painful, physical activity is actually one of the best ways to combat arthritis pain. Keeping yourself active throughout the day will help to prevent your joints from stiffening up. Additionally, it’ll help you combat weight gain. Physical activity also releases feel-good endorphins that make you feel happier while actually reducing pain.
3. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check
Arthritis and diabetes go hand in hand. Having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing arthritis and having arthritis puts you at an increased risk of developing diabetes. If you’ve already been diagnosed, keep a close watch on your blood sugar because high blood sugar can actually worsen the stiffening of joints, making arthritis symptoms even more painful.
4. Avoid Injury
A joint with a history of injury is much more likely to develop arthritis than an uninjured one. Wear protective gear when participating in sports and work with a personal trainer when exercising in the gym to ensure you aren’t exhibiting any unhealthy postures or techniques that could result in an injury.
5. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
You can prevent and manage arthritis by focusing on eating the right nutrition, specifically nutrients that can reduce inflammation in your body and help to lubricate your joints. Fill your diet with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Talk to a Doctor About Your Arthritis Risk and Management Plan
If you’re concerned about arthritis, we welcome you to schedule a pain management consultation with a doctor at Gulf Coast Health Center. We can talk with you about your lifestyle and provide you with a variety of treatments and recommendations designed to help you manage pain and prevent your arthritis from worsening. To learn more, contact any of our locations today.
Gulf Coast Health Center, Inc. is a private, non-profit community based organization. We are partially funded through grants, including funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. A sliding fee scale is available to all patients regardless of insurance.