May is Arthritis Awareness Month! We all know that arthritis causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness. But here are some other facts that you might not know!
Some types of arthritis can affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases
Remission is possible with lifestyle changes, tools, and medicines
Along with medication, there are several natural methods to help ease joint pain. Acupuncture, massage, tai chi, yoga, weight loss, physical therapy and topical gels are just a few ways to help manage and ease arthritis pain.
Regular physical activity (like walking, bike riding, swimming, weight lifting and gardening) offers many health and pain reducing benefits for people with arthritis. Here are some of the benefits of regularly walking for 30 minutes a day: improves circulation, lightens your mood, helps you lose weight, strengthens muscles, improves sleep, supports your joints, improves your breathing, slows down mental decline, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, can help lengthen life, and strengthens bones.
Certain foods can help fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost your immune system. Try adding these foods to your balanced diet to help ease symptoms of arthritis: fish, olive oil, cherries and other berries, low-fat dairy, broccoli, green tea, citrus, whole grains, beans, nuts and garlic. The Mediterranean diet is considered an anti-inflammatory diet that can help reduce body-wide inflammation. It also helps lower blood pressure, is heart-healthy, and protects against chronic conditions.
Arthritis can affect people of all ages and can affect the entire body. Being proactive with a healthy and active lifestyle, managing weight, taking prescription medications and keeping a positive attitude are all ways to help arthritis sufferers feel better and effectively manage pain.
*Information was gathered from the Arthritis Foundation's website. For more information on arthritis, visit www.arthritis.org