If your painful, inflamed joints are sidelining you from life, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 adults — approximately 15 million people — live with joint problems. Unfortunately, most don’t realize that there are ways to control the inflammation and find relief from pain naturally.
Our team of pain management experts led by Dr. Raul Lopez at West Texas Pain Institute knows how frustrating joint inflammation can be. In addition to providing the best, most advanced pain management therapies, we’re sharing our top five tips for managing joint inflammation.
What causes joint inflammation?
Before diving into the ways you can manage your joint inflammation, it’s best to understand why your joints are inflamed in the first place.
Inflamed joints occur when the tissues that surround your joint fill up with fluid. This kind of damaging fluid retention is a common side effect of arthritis but can also be the result of certain infections and injuries.
Dr. Lopez treats your painful, swollen joints with advanced pain management therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or stem cell therapy. But while there’s no substitute for Dr. Lopez’s expertise, there are steps you can take to supplement those treatments.
Here are five ways you can manage joint inflammation.
#1: Manage your weight
Being overweight or obese not only increases the chances that you’ll have joint problems, but it also exacerbates painful symptoms like joint inflammation if you do develop them. Getting yourself to a healthy weight takes the pressure off your joints, reduces inflammation, and improves mobility.
#2: Start exercising
Exercising regularly is a great way to help you manage your weight, and it also strengthens your joints. The stronger and more supported your joints are, the more flexible and less swollen they are as well. Try some low-impact workouts like cycling, yoga, or water aerobics to lose healthy weight and support your joints.
#3: Focus on your diet
Often, your diet plays a large role in joint inflammation. For example, a diet consisting primarily of red meat, processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars and salts trigger inflammation in your joints.
Making healthier choices in your diet is another great way to achieve a healthy weight and reduce the pressure on your joints. Plant-based and whole foods also deliver powerful antioxidants and inflammation-reducing nutrients to your joints.
Similarly, adding in certain spices and herbs like turmeric to your meals can help reduce inflammation in your joints and other areas of your body.
#4: Get a massage
While it’s not a treatment for arthritis and other causes of joint inflammation, massages can stimulate whole-body circulation, relieving joint pain and reducing swelling. Talk to Dr. Lopez about whether or not massage therapy is right for you.
#5: Try hot and cold therapy
When in doubt, stick to the basics. Alternating between hot and cold therapies can help soothe pain and control inflammation. Cold therapy reduces inflammation, while hot therapy stimulates blood flow and relaxes your muscles.
For cold therapy, try wrapping a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to your painful joints. When you switch to hot therapy, try taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad for nighttime relief.
If you’d like more information about how to manage joint inflammation, don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff or request an appointment online.