This week is Arthritis Care Week, my partner D has rheumatoid arthritis so he asked if he could do a post to raise awareness of it. Over to D….
‘Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, mainly affecting joints and tendons. An inflamed joint looks swollen and red, and appears warm to the touch. The disease usually starts in the wrists, hands or feet, and can spread to other joints and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.’ Arthritis Care
I inherited some fantastic traits from my mother, however arthritis was not one of them.
After playing every sport known to man until my mid- twenties, I began to notice my hips and knees would ache for days constantly and sleeping on either side would cause a dull boring pain in my thighs. I soldiered on until it really began to effect my sleep and movement, especially in the winter. After being referred to a specialist I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the specialist gave me a list of exercises and diet to try and stated that when I got older I would be looking at having both my hips replaced.
Over the next year I tried many different ways to alleviate the pain and did not want to be popping pills.
The first key is to exercise and regularly, only half an hour a day is sufficient whether it be a brisk walk or a spritely swim. This keeps the joints supple and strengthens bones and muscles. I find swimming is best for me as there is no pressure on my joints whilst I am exercising, a jacuzzi after swimming also soothes any aches and pains.
Another important factor is to make sure you get plenty of sleep as it is proven that lack of sleep can make rheumatoid arthritis worse. Sleeping itself may prove uncomfortable due to pain and aches when laid in certain positions so a good mattress is essential, find your most comfortable positions and stick to them.
A healthy diet is my final tip, making sure your intake is full of the correct vitamins and minerals is very important. Omega 3 rich foods are great such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and olive oil. I also find that drinking a pro-biotic yoghurt drink daily helps. It is important to watch the calories as excessive weight puts more stress on the joints.
Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominiciat, khongkitwiriyachan, rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Collaboration with Adjustable Beds