Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of individuals all over the globe. Even though it affects individuals in varying degrees, a distinctive feature of the condition is that it affects the joints as well as the musculoskeletal system. The symptoms of arthritis include inflammation, pain, stiffness and joint damage. It is important to note that the pain in some individuals can be debilitating, resulting to inability to carry out simple daily tasks such as walking or brushing teeth.
Regular positional changes
The individual should change positions on a regular basis. By changing positions frequently, it can help prevent stiffness of the joints that can eventually lead to pain. This is possible by encouraging the individual to stand every now and then as well as bending and stretching.
The individual must also shake out his/her hands as well as tilting the head in a back and forth manner. On the other hand, the individual should also know his/her limit since overdoing any activity can cause further damage, thus resulting to more pain. You can learn the appropriate pain management measures by enrolling in a first aid class today.
It is a known fact that pain increases stress and stress can also increase the pain felt by the individual, thus causing the muscles to tighten. The ideal way to eliminate stress from the body is to encourage the individual to engage in relaxation techniques such as guided imagery.
Guided imagery involves using the mind to focus on happy moments or places. The individual will start by closing his/her eyes and breathe in a deep and slow manner, then imagining a happy and comfortable place while taking in every detail utilizing all the five senses. By concentrating on something special, the mind could no longer concentrate on the pain.
Improving the range of motion and strengthening of muscles
Regular exercise will not only strengthen the muscles, but also improves the range of motion as well as reduce pain. Low-impact exercises such as walking or water exercises are recommended. Activities that help build the muscles that surround the joints are also good options which do not cause further joint damage. Since the situation and condition of each individual is different, it is vital for the individual to consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Hot and cold therapy
The application of cold packs has two purposes – reducing the inflammation of the joints and numbing the area that is sore. As for heat, it helps increase the flow of blood to the affected area which helps provide relief from the pain while relaxing the muscles. Heat usually comes in the form of hot baths, heating pads or warm cloths placed inside a plastic bag. Every therapy must be used for 15-20 minutes for only 3-4 times in a day.
In case of pain that occurs occasionally, acetaminophen is enough and can be taken every four hours. As for chronic pain, it would require a stronger medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. This will not only minimize the swelling in the joints, but also reduce the pain. It is important to follow the directions on the packaging for the right dosage.