There seems to be an overwhelming number of people who are suffering from arthritis these days; in fact, it’s one of the most common health problems to afflict Americans. It’s not just the population of senior citizens who have trouble with their joints; arthritis is becoming an increasingly frequent malady among younger and younger people due to excessive time spent on digital devices, with our hands locked into a single position for hours at a time.
If you already have osteoarthritis, a condition characterized by joint inflammation and stiffness from cartilage damage, you can’t simply cure it – but you can take steps to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. If you are one of the 16 million people who are affected by arthritis, read on for non-prescription ways to take control of the pain from arthritic joints.
For some sufferers, light physical exercise and stretching that warms the body can ease some of the discomfort in joints. In some cases, physical therapy is prescribed to alleviate the stiffness and pain, particularly in shoulders and knees and the spine.
Some people who live with arthritis find that taking an analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen cuts down on the swelling of their joints. This is also effective on mild to moderate pain. Because there are side effects associated with long-term use of analgesics, however, you should always check with your doctor to ensure you aren’t doing more harm than good and that they don’t interfere with other medications you are taking.
Cold and Heat
Many people who suffer from arthritis claim that the effects are worse during cold weather. You might feel your joints “stiffening up” even more when winter hits. In this case, keeping active with moderate stretching and exercise to prevent your joints from getting sore and stiff is often effective at calming mild to moderate inflammation.
Conversely, heat has been proven to be effective in treating some forms of arthritis. Far infrared heat (FIR), such as that in a FIT® Bodywrap, penetrates the muscles and joints to provide relief from pain and loosen limbs. With its superior heating effects that can cover the entire body – or just those areas that require relief – FIT® body wraps are often used by physical therapists as a weekly (or more often) treatment for arthritis. The deep results from the gentle heating effects of FIR last long beyond your time in the wrap and could be the most relaxing and successful form of treatment you’ve ever tried.
For many arthritis sufferers, a combination of gentle exercise and stretching, over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy and FIT® Bodywrap sessions provide maximum relief for the regular aches and pains from this common condition.
If you are a physical therapist, be sure to learn more about how affordable it is to add a FIT® Bodywrap system to your practice.