It’s difficult to live with the chronic pain of arthritis, the impaired movement, and the inevitable progression of the disease. But it’s important to acknowledge that living with arthritis may be easier if you stop doing certain things.
Paying attention to what you should stop doing can be just as important as focusing on what you should be doing. Consider these 5 things you should stop doing if you have arthritis.
1. Stop thinking you can’t exercise.
This may be one of the biggest misconceptions associated with arthritis. If you have arthritis you need to exercise and participate in regular physical activity. This keeps your joints moving, thus decreasing joint pain and stiffness and strengthens the muscles that support the joints, and improving mobility.
Many people with arthritis fear that exercise will increase pain, but it is actually inactivity that brings on more pain and disability in the long run.
To reap the benefits of exercise, you should start slow with gentle, joint-friendly exercise, build on what you can do, and respect pain — but don’t let pain stop you.
For an exercise regime suggestion, check out this article: Tai Chi for Arthritis.
2. Stop ignoring your physical limitations.
The opposite of (1) above, Just as there are people with arthritis who avoid physical activity, there are those who push beyond their limits.
The recommendation of medical experts is to pace your activities.
Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it. Pushing your limits can increase pain and increase your risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind, without submitting to a sedentary lifestyle.
3. Stop eating an unhealthy diet that packs on pounds.
Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if you have arthritis. Excess body weight impacts weight-bearing joints and can increase arthritis pain. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.
Beyond preventing excessive weight gain, if you have arthritis you also need to be considering an anti-inflammatory diet. This can be more delicious than you might think.
4. Stop avoiding mobility aids because your pride gets in the way.
A cane, walker, or wheelchair may be necessary if you want to hang on to your independence and be able to get around.
Some people can’t bear the thought of using a mobility aid, though, because of what it does to their self-image and self-esteem. Some actually would choose to isolate themselves at home rather than be seen with one.
Canes and walkers can offer additional support and improve balance when walking. Do what’s necessary to protect your joints and improve your balance, use mobility aids when necessary, and get out of the house and live your life.
5. Stop feeling guilty.
There’s no doubt that arthritis can intrude negatively on life. It can get in the way of performing usual duties and taking care of your responsibilities at home or at work.
You may start to feel guilty when you can’t do what you think is expected of you. It may take a lot of effort, but learn to let go of guilt and to be satisfied with doing the best you can do under the circumstances.
Source: Carol Eustice