Arthritis Awareness Month: How to Prevent an Arthritis Flare Up
Arthritis Awareness Month is observed in May to raise awareness about the increasing prevalence of arthritis in the US. It’s the leading cause of disability affecting about 1 in 4 individuals. The condition is characterized by swelling and pain in the joints that can severely limit activities and negatively impact quality of life. While there is no cure for arthritis, a lot can be done to better manage symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease. Here’s how to prevent an arthritis flare-up.Be more active: Use it or lose it. The key is to stay active but minimize heavy resistance. Put your joints through their full range of motion using slow gentle movements. Lightweight dumbells or elastic bands are useful in the weight room. I’m a big fan of low impact activities as well such as swimming and yoga.Arthritis medications: Non-steroid anti-inflammatories such as Aleve and Ibuprofen can be used for arthritis.Lower weight: Obesity is associated with the development of arthritis, even in non-weight bearing joint. This is likely a metabolic process.Lower stress levels: Stress causes muscle tension that can increase joint pain, and causes release of chemicals into the bloodstream that produce inflammation within the body. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or breathing exercises can not only lower inflammation and tension within the body, but also improves your pain threshold.Watch out for food triggers: Possible triggers include fried and processed foods, too much added salt or sugar in your diet, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates. Keep a food diary to track your arthritis flares and identify specific food triggers.Quit smoking: Results of several research studies show that smokers tend to have more severe arthritis symptoms and flares as compared to nonsmokers.To schedule a telehealth or an in-office consultation with Dr. Denard to discuss your specific shoulder pain symptoms, please call (541) 608-2595.Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North Ameri-ca and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. Dr. Denard is com-mitted to providing the highest level of Orthopedic care to his patients. Dr. Denard has advanced arthroscopy training and is able to perform the vast majority of shoulder procedures in a minimally invasive fashion, including all types of rotator cuff repairs and in-stability repair. These techniques allow him to repair tears that some consider "irrepara-ble." Providing every patient with advanced medicine and compassionate care each and every time.