Arthritis is a common condition that affects 3.5 million Australians or approximately 15% of our population¹. Although it is often associated with old age, arthritis can affect people of all ages. Living with arthritis can impact all aspects of your life, from your social life and relationships to your mental health and independence.
However, there are a number of things that you can do to ease the pain of arthritis and improve your quality of life ranging from using an electric can operator to chiropractic care.
Types Of Arthritis
There are a number of different forms of arthritis, each with their own causes such as degeneration, inflammation, and infection. The two most common types of arthritis in Australia are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition and is the most common form of arthritis in Australia as approximately 2.1 million Australians reported having osteoarthritis in 2014 – 2015². Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, commonly occurs due to previous trauma or overuse injuries. It affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments, and muscle, most commonly occurring in the knees, hips, finger joints and big toe³.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and is the second most common form of arthritis in Australia, with approximately 407,900 Australians reporting to have the disease in 2014 – 2015⁴. Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and swelling of joints as the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. This type of arthritis commonly occurs in the smaller joints of the body such as the hands and feet.
How To Live Better With Arthritis
Do Your Research
Learning as much as you can about your condition will allow you to play a more active role in your treatment. However, it’s important to take any medical information you read online with a grain of salt, with the exception of information provided by a reputable website such as arthritisaustralia.com.au and arthritis.org.
Note: consult a healthcare professional before considering any new treatments.
Improve Daily Tasks
There are a number of simple things that you can use to help reduce pain caused by performing daily tasks such as:
- Holding the handrails when using stairs
- Using long handled tools to clean and pick things up
- Installing taps with lever handles to reduce the pressure needed to turn them on
- Keeping things in easy reach
- Using a suction mat in the shower to prevent falls
Taking advantage of the many tools available to reduce the stress on your joints at home will help to reduce pain and avoid injury.
Regular exercise is highly recommended for people with arthritis as it can help with balance as well as helping to reduce pain, tension, and stiffness in your joints. Additionally, regular exercise will also help to prevent other health problems.
The best type of exercise for you will depend on what type of arthritis you have as well as your individual circumstances and abilities. Consult your health professional to find out what exercises will work best for you.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Although no food will cure your arthritis, maintaining a healthy diet will help to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Eating healthy to maintain an ideal body weight will also reduce the pressure on your joints which may help to reduce pain.
Chiropractic care for arthritis aims to reduce pain and maintain the function of joints through a combination of chiropractic adjustments, at home exercises, and suggested lifestyle changes. If you suffer from arthritis book an appointment with your local Brisbane chiropractor at Back To Front Chiropractic. Call 07 3393 2201 today and take advantage of our new patient offer.