Chronic pain has a nasty way of interfering with our ability to perform the day-to-day activities we once took for granted. It can also keep us from truly enjoying the moments in life we cherish most. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” At Oklahoma Pain Doc, we recognize the importance of providing our patients with the knowledge and resources they need to avoid taking unnecessary measures in their journey to wellness. Though osteoarthritis is a chronic condition with no known cure, you can make minor lifestyle changes to prevent further joint deterioration while significantly reducing pain!
Follow these simple steps to naturally fight back against pain brought on by osteoarthritis.
Step One: Adjust Your Diet
Poor diet is often a major contributing factor to intense arthritic pain. Luckily, there are plenty of superfoods and supplements out there with the power to substantially reduce pain and inflammation.
Garlic, for instance, contains elements that counteract tissue damage. Antioxidants found within green tea have similar properties. Turmeric, a yellow spice commonly found in curry, contains a substance called curcumin. This substance is known to reduce symptoms of swelling in arthritis patients.
Some physicians also recommend consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which have the power to curb pain and inflammation. Omega-3 can usually be found in fish oil supplements.
Inversely, some foods can actually aggravate osteoarthritis symptoms. Try to avoid alcohol, salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, white bread, and saturated and trans fats.
Step 2: Train Your Body
An active lifestyle promotes muscle growth and a bolstered immune system, both of which protect joints from deteriorating any further. The Arthritis Foundation even refers to exercise as “the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in osteoarthritis.”
It is best for those with pain syndromes to stick to low-impact, low-resistance training that is also aerobic and flexibility-oriented. Activities like walking, bike riding, swimming, yoga, and tai-chi are all considered excellent ways to combat arthritis pain.
Step 3: Reduce Your Stress Levels
Chemicals released during psychological stress have the potential to negatively impact the immune system and trigger joint inflammation. Adding easy stress relief techniques to your daily routine is a great way to significantly reduce pain.
Spending extra time outdoors can be a wonderful way to clear the mind and heal the body. In fact, observations recorded by physician Robert Ulrich showed hospital patients who had a view of trees from their window reported fewer negative symptoms and had faster recovery times.
If you can’t find the time to go outside, try occupying yourself with a creative activity like painting, writing, or cooking.
What to Do When All Else Fails
Again, osteoarthritis is classified as a chronic condition. This means there is no cure. Though it is possible to greatly improve your condition by implementing the lifestyle adjustments listed above, there is no surefire way to prevent pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis.
So, what does one do when all these natural remedies and preventative measures fail to stop a flare-up from occurring?
Visit your doctor or a pain management specialist if any of the following symptoms occur:
Joints appear red and feel warm to the touch
Intense pain, swelling or stiffness
Difficulty moving or performing daily tasks
Symptoms lasting three days or longer
Multiple flare-ups within one month
With nearly two decades of experience in treating pain syndromes, Dr. Robinson is recognized as one of the top physicians in the region. When all else fails, Dr. Robinson and the Oklahoma Pain Doc team provide pain relief with state-of-the-art tools and treatment.