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Low back pain results from a back injury or certain types of arthritis. Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the United States. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold joint protection, pacing your activities and self-help skills. If your arthritis affects many joints or other parts of the body or seems resistant to treatment, you may benefit from seeing a rheumatologist. This is a doctor with special training and experience in the field of arthritis.
If you would like to take part in arthritis research, ask your doctor for a referral to a study in your area. Using heat or cold over joints or muscles may give you short-term relief from pain and stiffness. You can also use heat or cold to help prepare for exercise. Some people feel better using heat; others prefer cold. They keep your joints flexible by moving them to their fullest extent.
For rheumatoid arthritis and other types that involve inflammation, researchers are trying to understand the steps that lead to inflammation and how it can be slowed or stopped. An initial study suggests that fibromyalgia affects more older people than originally thought and often may be overlooked in this group. Your doctor can tell you about other new research findings.
There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier.
Your family doctor, the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation or the county medical society can refer you to a rheumatologist. You can also search for a rheumatologist on the American College of Rheumatology web site. When your joints are inflamed or damaged, you need to take certain precautions as you do all your daily activities. Your doctor or therapist can teach you exercises and the correct use of heat and cold to decrease pain.
- Try a different type of exercise to reduce pressure on your joints—for example, switch from walking to water aerobics.
- Learn about managing your weight at CDC’s Healthy Weight website.
- Stay as active as your anxiety disorder health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms.
- At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity and diet changes can help you lose weight.
- It is important for people with arthritis to maintain a healthy weight.
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For happier, healthier joints, try these simple food swaps. One study found that only 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women with arthritis met federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue.
Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming. Researchers are learning more about certain conditions. For example in osteoarthritis, researchers are looking for signs of early destruction of cartilage and ways to rebuild it.
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Doing regular exercise will keep muscles around a joint strong, and this will help to support and stabilise a joint affected by osteoarthritis. Conservative options for ankle arthritis traditionally include medications, injections and bracing. There are several common trigger foods to avoid if you have arthritis.