Arthritis is a chronic condition involving inflammation, pain and swelling of joints and the surrounding structures. There are numerous types of arthritis. The arthritis attacks usually have a tendency to recur. So identifying the trigger factors and avoiding them plays an important role in the management of arthritis. There is no permanent cure for arthritis. Treatment is targeted at symptomatic relief and prevention of further complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet plays an important role in the management of arthritis
Healthy diet is necessary in the management of arthritis. Attacks of gout are brought about by excessive intake of purine rich foods like liver, anchovies, tomatoes and peas. It is important to avoid these trigger factors. Excessive consumption of alcohol and episodes of binge drinking may lead to attacks of gout and other types of arthritis. So it is important to avoid alcohol or consume in moderation. Obese people are at a high risk of developing osteoarthritis. Hence it is important to maintain a healthy weight.
Experts recommend that one should have at least five servings of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit in the diet regularly. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and vitamins. They keep the body fuller for longer thereby avoiding the extra cravings.
One should replace the fizzy sugary drinks and colas with water. These drinks are high in their sugar content and caffeine. They provide empty calories and contribute to an unhealthy weight gain. Experts have suggested drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated and helps to maintain an adequate fluid balance in the body. Attacks of gout are usually preceded by dehydration.
Regular exercise is necessary in the long term management of arthritis
Regular exercise is important to maintain the overall fitness levels of an individual .Health professional have suggested that walking is the best exercise. Walking regularly for 30 to 45 minutes a day gives a great workout to the body. Other exercises like swimming, cycling and aerobics can also be practiced regularly. Exercise is important to maintain a healthy body weight. People suffering from fibromyalgia need to consult their doctor before taking up any new exercise regimen as their symptoms are aggravated by strenuous exercise. Health professionals usually recommend them gentle exercises or low impact water based exercises.
Alternative therapies like yoga and tai chi may be helpful
There are many alternative therapies like yoga, clinical pilates and tai chi. These therapies include stretching and breathing exercises which help in relaxing the body and reducing the body stiffness. They can also help in relieving the chronic joint pain and muscle weakness. Many people have reported that these therapies teach the affected individuals certain techniques that help in reducing the joint stiffness and provide a better joint mobility. These exercises should be taken up after proper consultation with the doctor and must be practiced under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Medication is used by doctors to reduce swelling, inflammation and joint pain during acute attacks of arthritis.