Do you have arthritis? You have a lot of company. About a quarter million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s nearly 55 million people, and that doesn’t take into account those who have arthritis but have not seen a doctor about their symptoms.
At Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation in Pembroke Pines, Florida, David Berkower, DO, and our team specialize in advanced techniques aimed at relieving chronic arthritis pain. Here’s what you can do to minimize your symptoms and maximize your quality of life.
Be more active
Since arthritis pain often occurs during certain activities — such as climbing stairs — you might think the best thing to do is rest your joints. But that’s not necessarily true. In fact, gentle movement can help your joints stay flexible. It can also improve circulation to your joints and thereby help promote healing and reduce discomfort.
The key is to work with the team at Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation to learn which exercises are good for your joints and which ones may increase joint strain. Then incorporate those activities into your routine gradually as part of your custom treatment plan.
If you have arthritis in your knees, hips, ankles, or spine, losing extra pounds can reduce the strain on those joints, and it can improve your overall health, too. What’s more, fatty tissue releases chemical signals that can increase inflammation, which can make your symptoms worse over time. So if you’re overweight, losing weight can help your joints and overall health.
Modify your routines
Using bath rails, tub seats, electric jar openers, and other helpful products can help relieve strain on your joints. With so many people suffering from arthritis, more products are coming out every year that are designed to help people avoid joint pain. Do a little online sleuthing to find products that can help you avoid straining your joints.
Over-the counter pain medicines can be really good at relieving some types of arthritis pain. Just be sure to follow the directions and talk to your doctor about the medications you’re taking so you don’t run into any unpleasant side effects.
For more severe pain, prescription medications can help. In every case, it’s a good idea to combine medications with other treatment options, such as physical therapy, to make sure you get the maximum benefits from the lowest possible dose.
Treat the pain at its source
As a top-ranked rehabilitation specialist, Dr. Berkower is skilled in state-of-the-art injection therapies aimed at providing direct relief to arthritic joints. Injections in sites like the knees, wrists, hips, and shoulders can reduce both pain and inflammation, so you can enjoy a greater range of movement and a lot less pain.
Injection therapy can be combined with physical therapy and lifestyle modifications for a more comprehensive approach to pain relief. Plus, each injection treatment plan is customized for every patient’s symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.
Learn all you can, and ask for help when you need it
The Arthritis Foundation maintains a comprehensive list of online support groups, along with other helpful tools and guidance that can make your life easier and more comfortable once you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis. Understanding arthritis can help you feel more in control of your symptoms and your health.
Talking with people with similar problems can help reduce feelings of frustration, sadness, and isolation. And with so many support options online, you don’t even need to leave your home to get the advocacy and assistance you need.
If you have arthritis pain, stiffness, or other joint-related symptoms, don’t put off getting care. Getting treatment is the best way to feel better faster and minimize additional damage. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation today.