What NOT to Do if you have Arthritis Pain
Not sure what to do or what not to do now that arthritis pain is slowing you down? Doing the wrong things can make matters worse, while doing the right things can help relieve the pain. But what is right and what is wrong? This list is everything you should NOT do if you have osteoarthritis pain. These tips could save you from experiencing years of pain in the future.
**Don’t:1. ** Wear flip-flops or flimsy sandals: If the pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips or back seems to get worse during the spring and summer months, this might be due to your shoe attire. Poorly cushioned shoes that offer no heel support or control put a great deal of stress on your arthritic joints. Shame on you if you wear bad shoes that cause more pain. 2. Eat sugary foods: What you eat greatly influences how you feel. Foods that contribute to more pain are the ones that contain a lot of sugar , like potatoes, bread, pasta, juice, sodas, and candy. All of these foods have a high glycemic index, promote inflammation and cause your blood sugar to spike. 3. Overdo it: When joints start wearing out, it is time to adopt a different pace. No longer can you do things the way you used to do them. No longer can you go all day without rest. Avoiding unnecessary pain often means having a new sustainable pace to keep your joints within their comfort zones. Welcome to your new reality. 4. Avoid using assistive devices: I’ve seen people avoid using canes, walking sticks and walkers to the point of falling frequently and ending up in the hospital with a fracture. If you need an assistive device, don’t avoid using one. These items can help provide extra support and safety in your life. Vanity is not worth the extra pain. 5. Forget to appreciate what you have: Being grateful for what you can do and what you do have is the best way to accept what you cannot change. Yes, you cannot change the fact that you have arthritis (unless you replace the joint). But you can change your attitude and choose to be thankful.
Although this is a list about what not to do if you have arthritis pain, each one of the “don’ts” can be turned into a “do.” Do the things that help your body, like improving your health, giving it support, pacing yourself and appreciating life. Doing the right things and NOT doing the wrong things can greatly improve your quality of life when you live with arthritis pain.
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.