What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term for conditions that cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and other joint symptoms. The most common type is Osteoarthritis, where the protective cartilage between bones wears away, meaning the bones to rub together to cause pain and stiffness.
Little changes make a big difference
You won’t be able to regrow any damaged cartilage, but it is possible to protect what’s left with some simple lifestyle changes.
Protecting your joints
Pull up a chair
Standing and walking put extra stress on your knee and hip joints. If you need to be on your feet for long periods, take sitting breaks. If you can, put your feet up.
Strike a pose
If you have knee or hip pain, it’s possible you’ve accidentally changed the way you stand to compensate. This can put stress elsewhere, so make you stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight even on both feet.
Dress for comfort
High heels put added stress on your knees that you won't feel until the damage is done. If you love high heels, wear them for short periods or special occasions—not every day.
Switch it up
When sitting for long periods such as road trips, working at a computer or bingeing Netflix, remember to shift at least every 15 or 20 minutes to avoid muscle tension and joint stiffness.
Sleep it off
If you have arthritis in your hips, sleep on your back with your legs apart. Or, if only one hip has arthritis, lie on the other side with a pillow between your knees.
Instead of bending at the waist or hips to pick up objects from the floor, use your leg and butt muscles to lift. When carrying a heavy object, hold it close to your body.
Give it a rest
Use your strongest joints whenever you can. So, if you have arthritis in your fingers, push doors open with your forearm, support your coffee mug with your palm and opt for a backpack over a hand-held tote.
Whether you're kneeling in the garden or rollerblading in the park, use cushions and safety pads to protect knees and elbows from strains and injuries. Hurting a joint increases your risk for developing arthritis in it.
Know your limits
At the end of a long workweek, it can be easy to overdo it when you're having fun. Plan ahead with appropriate exercise before any weekend bursts of activity to avoid injuring your joints.
How do I treat arthritis?
There are 3 types of exercise that experts recommend for arthritis.
1. Strengthening Exercises
Build muscle to support and cushion your joints.
Backward leg lifts | Chair squats | Bridges | Side leg raises
2. Stretching Exercises
The best arthritis pain relief comes from improving joint flexibility.
Calf stretches | Hamstring stretches | Quad stretches | Hip stretches
3. Cardiovascular (Cardio) Activity
Promoting a healthy heart, stamina and weight can help relieve arthritis.
Walking | Elliptical | Water Aerobics
Dropping a few kilos can ease the pressure on your hips and knees, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes while increasing energy, better sleep, improved mood, and more.
1. Clear up portion distortion
You might be overeating without realising it, use this handy chart to understand what a standard portion size should be.
Pasta/rice – small fist
Butter – postage stamp
Fruits/vegetables – tennis ball
Meat/Fish – 1 smartphone
2. Eat more, weigh less
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean going hungry. See how you can create bigger versions of your favourite meals by substituting high-fat foods for water-rich ones.
3. Step it up
Increasing the amount of steps you take a day can make a big difference to your health in the long run. Here are some easy ways to add more steps to your day:
- Walk around the room during TV ad breaks.
- Circle the block each time you get your mail.
- Schedule walks to catch up with friends and socialise.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Pace while you’re talking on the phone.
- Stroll around the airport or train station while you’re waiting.
- Take a walk at lunchtime—even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
- Get off the bus before your usual stop.
- Walk the kids to and from the school bus stop.
- Park further from building entrances.
- Walk to co-workers’ desks rather than emailing.
Find an effective pain relief
Paracetamol, found in pain relief such as TYLENOL®, is effective for relieving muscle aches and pain. Don’t forget to always read and follow the label and never use TYLENOL® products with other products containing paracetamol.
The information on this page is intended solely as a general education aid and is not intended as medical or healthcare advice, to be used for medical diagnosise or treatment for any individual problem or as a substitute for professional advice from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your unique facts. You should always talk to your healthcare professional for all health-related matters and before starting any new treatment.