Managing Your Arthritis

There is no question about it, arthritis can be a real pain! And for those living with arthritis, that pain, as well as the restricted movement that accompanies it, can start to creep in on many different parts of our lives.

Types of Arthritis
(Descriptions and information supplied by CDC)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body. 

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammation of the skin and joints that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in affected joints.

We’ve gathered information on how to best manage your osteoarthritis, as it is the most common form of the disease. Although there is no cure for arthritis, these tips could help relieve some of the pain you may feel from day to day.

Learn new self-management skills – Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.

Be active – Physical activity is a simple and effective, drug-free way to relieve arthritis pain. Being physically active can reduce pain, improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.

Talk to your doctor – Talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment.

Manage your weight – Losing excess weight and staying at a healthy weight is particularly important for people with arthritis. At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity like walking, combined with healthy food choices can help you lose weight. 

Protect your joints – Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints.

To learn more about Northern Light Health arthritis-focused services, go to our rheumatology webpage.