Inflammation is a major contributor not only to arthritis, but also Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. A number of people have seen promise by switching to more of an anti-inflammatory diet. Most are able to prevent the pain of arthritis by avoiding excess inflammatory foods like wheat, corn, eggs, milk and dairy, red meat, salt, white rice, and alcohol. This is more a way of choosing foods based on the knowledge of how then can help your body, rather than the popular definition of diets, which are designed to help lose weight. However, many people do lose weight as they are consuming less processed and fast foods.
Studies have shown that a more active lifestyle can help fend off inflammation that can lead to arthritis. Whether it’s aerobic exercise like walking or flexibility based exercises, even 15 minutes a day can make a big difference. Yoga and Tai Chi are good examples of flexibility exercises that can keep joints healthy. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis often experience more pain or stiffness in the hands and fingers, so small hand exercises like making a fist and opening your hands wide, or touching your finger tips can be quite beneficial.
Athletes use heat and cold therapies to ease pain and shorten recovery time, so why can’t you use it for those aching joints? You can, and in most cases, to a great degree. Try using a heat therapy for 15 minutes prior to any exercises like we mentioned above. This can be from heat patches, warm water bottles, or even a hot shower or bath. Heat works by dilating the blood vessels and stimulating circulation. Cold therapy works conversely by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling. It may be uncomfortable at first, but deep pain can often be numbed by cold treatment.