How to Decrease Your Arthritis Pain

Your lifestyle goes a long way in exacerbating or easing your arthritis pain. At Hoosier Foot & Ankle, we want to help you to manage your arthritis, so you have to visit us minimally for medication or surgical interventions. 

Here’s how we suggest you relieve pain in your stiff joints so that you can keep doing all the activities you love.

Maintain a healthy weight

When arthritis strikes, the inflammation and pain often occur in joints like your knees, ankles, and feet. Extra weight puts more pressure on these joints, making them have to work harder and thus experience more pain. 

If you’re overweight or obese, we can help you determine what a healthy weight is for you to ease your pain. Losing weight is never easy and takes time, but the results of weight loss include improved mobility, less future damage to your joints, and decreased pain.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

An anti-inflammatory diet fits into weight loss and offers important nutrients that help reduce the inflammation that contributes to arthritis pain. Refined, processed foods contribute to the inflammation that causes arthritis pain, but focusing on nutritious foods like nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, leafy greens, whole grains, and plant-based protein, like tofu, supports healthier cells and tissues. 

If you aren’t sure what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like, talk to us. We can help you understand how this way of eating promotes a healthier body and less arthritis aggravation. 

Exercise

But “exercise hurts,” you say. We aren’t suggesting you run a marathon daily, but stay active to help manage your weight and keep your joints flexible. It may be as simple as starting with a daily walk or riding an indoor exercise bike for about 30 minutes. 

Light weight training strengthens muscles around your joints to offer more support and take impact off them — thus relieving arthritis pain. We can help you develop an appropriate plan for your health and level. 

Hot/cold therapy

Using simple heat and cooling therapy can help relieve the pain of an arthritis flare-up and make you more comfortable. Use a heat pack to ease a muscle spasm, warm up joints before activity — like first thing in the morning — or to relieve stiffness.

If you’re feeling inflamed and have swelling and pain at a joint site, a cold pack can help. Apply it 20 minutes on/20 minutes off to get relief. Remember to wrap your ice pack, bag of frozen vegetables, or ice cubes in a towel — never apply the ice directly to your skin.

Try massage

Regular massage can go a long way in easing inflamed tissues to help you manage joint pain and reduce discomfort. Massage is also a way to reduce stress. We can recommend a massage therapist for you to visit and who has experience helping patients with arthritis. 

Talk to us about pain-relieving injections

Injections of cortisone or hyaluronic acid can bring you relief and help you avoid surgery. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory that temporarily reduces arthritis pain so that you can stay mobile.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural compound your body produces to hydrate your tissues, but its production diminishes as you age. When applied at arthritic joints, hyaluronic acid can reduce joint pain, improve lubrication at joints, and slow the progression of arthritis. 

The  podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons at Hoosier Foot & Ankle are ready to help you manage your arthritis or other foot and ankle pain and dysfunction. Contact one of the offices located in Carmel, Fishers, Franklin, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Kokomo, and Zionsville, Indiana.

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