The UK’s Daily Express newspaper has published a study on how to ease pains associated with arthritis, including practicing, losing weight and eating healthy food.
They are as follows:
- Try not to sit for longer than half an hour at a time: Sitting for too long can cause your joints to seize up and lead to inactivity. You could even set your watch or phone to buzz every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and move, or if you’re watching TV, train yourself to get up and make a cup of tea or get a glass of water during the advert breaks.
- Be active for 30 minutes a day: Try to incorporate 30 minutes of physical movement a day that gets up your heart rate, such as swimming or cycling. This will make everyday movement easier in the long run because if you don’t use your muscles, you’ll lose tone and function.
- Keep an eye on your weight: Try to maintain a healthy weight for your height as extra weight increases pressure on joints such as your knees.
- Give up smoking for good: Research has shown that it increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Try to ensure your diet contains good sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein. These include milk, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, egg yolks and chicken.
- Eat oily fish: Make sure you get enough omega 3 oils in your diet as they lower inflammation to protect your joints. The current recommendation in the UK is two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish.
- Consider a vitamin D supplement in the winter months: In the UK, look at taking a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms a day between September and March, if you don’t get out and about in the sunshine.
- Say “no” to the lift: A small change to build strength and muscle while staying active is to take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Love your gums: Swollen gums (periodontitis) are a source of inflammation and can contribute to joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. A common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis 150 years ago was to remove your teeth. If you have periodontitis ask your dentist for advice on preventing it.
The cause could be something as simple as inaccurate brushing, as joint stiffness can make it harder to get to all the surfaces of our teeth as we age.