From hydrotherapy to massage, home therapies can help ease arthritis pain
(BPT) – About one out of every five American adults has been diagnosed with arthritis, and it is the most common cause of disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pain and stiffness caused by arthritis – and the high cost of arthritis medications – prompt many people to seek effective home therapies.
Massage and simple exercise have been shown to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with multiple forms of arthritis. Here are some common home therapies to discuss with your health care provider:
Massage – Recent studies indicate that massage can help people with arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation reports on its website ArthritisToday.org. Simple massage of painful joints such as in the hands, elbows or knees, may help your arthritis pain. You don’t need to pay for a professional massage to find relief. Talk to your health care provider for simple tips on self-massage. Besides pain relief, massage offers another benefit that may be particularly helpful to people living with chronic pain: relaxation.
Hydrotherapy – Soaking in warm water has been a viable home therapy for muscle and joint aches for centuries. Your arthritis may also cause mobility issues, making you wary about climbing in and out of a traditional soaking tub. A walk-in tub may be a viable alternative. Premier Care in Bathing, makers of walk-in tubs, offers its Hydrovescent Therapy system designed to help ease aches and pains but with gentler water motion than you would find in a traditional jetted tub. The company has earned the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use commendation for its easy-to-enter tubs that feature extra-wide, low-level entry, left or right-hand door openings, contoured and slip-resistant seats and backrests, and leak-free design. Remember to consult your doctor before beginning any home therapy, as hydrotherapy may not be appropriate for all types of arthritis or with other health conditions.
Lifestyle – As important as it is to work with your doctor to manage your arthritis, self-management is also essential. Lifestyle habits such as staying active and watching your weight can help reduce the pain of arthritis and improve function, according to the CDC. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week; it’s OK to break that time into 10-minute intervals, the CDC says. Carrying excess weight can make your arthritis worse, and losing just 11 pounds can improve mobility and reduce pain. It’s important to manage your weight as part of your overall arthritis treatment.
The CDC estimates that the number of people with arthritis will increase to 67 million by 2030. As more people struggle with arthritis’ debilitating effects, simple, cost-effective home therapies may help millions more find relief.
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