According to the CDC, more than 54 million adults in the U.S. have arthritis, a type of swelling in the joints. An estimated 23 percent of adults have symptoms of the most common arthritis forms such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout and lupus. It can affect people of all ages, backgrounds and genders.
Osteoarthritis occurs when there is wear and tear on cartilage, leaving the bones to rub together. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joint capsule that encases the joints. Arthritis can be affected by age, family history, prior joint injuries and obesity.
- Joint pain
- Decreased range of motion
Manage your pain with exercise
Living with joint pain doesn’t have to be debilitating or limiting. There are many ways to alleviate pain and improve quality of life. While it may sound counterproductive, exercise is a great way to help manage arthritis. Physical activity will make your joints flexible and keep muscles strong, which is also helpful. Keep activities low-impact and focus on stretching, strengthening and increasing range of motion. Here are three ways you can change up your daily routine to manage your arthritis symptoms.
- Focus on low-impact activities
Walking, cycling, yoga and water aerobics are a few low-impact activities you can do to help keep your joints active. These exercises focus on stretching and gradual strengthening to maintain healthy joints and prevent further damage.
- Work on range-of-motion exercises
Range-of-motion exercises work to increase flexibility and mobility. It preserves joint functionality while maintaining comfort. Exercises include ankle/wrist bends and rotations, toe/finger spreads and bends, head turns and tilts, hip and knee bends, and more.
- Avoid activities with high impact and repetitive movements
Running, jumping and playing tennis all can affect joints. High-impact activity can cause joint discomfort, especially if there’s not much cartilage left. Consistent repetitive motions, like a tennis serve, can also irritate joints and cause further wear of joints.
Taking a hot shower or icing an injury helps ease and reduce pain. Specifically, Thermalon moist heat products increase blood flow and relax muscles to alleviate stiffness and tension. This is great any time of day, including before a workout, and will help chronic arthritis and muscle cramps. Thermalon cold therapy products reduce swelling, muscle spasms and inflammation, which is great for OA, gout and tendonitis and post-workout recovery.
The Thermalon Moist Heat/Cold Sleeve is a moist heat wrap designed to work on larger joint areas – like knees, elbows and ankles – and can be used during strengthening exercises. For moist heat therapy wraps, place it in the microwave for one minute and wear for 30 minutes. For cold therapy, place in the freezer for two hours. Thermalon products are washable and reusable. Hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent and air dry.