Woman with Arthritis with Doctor

How To Cope With Arthritis Every Day

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Have you wondered how to cope with arthritis every day? You may wonder why I’m talking about arthritis; you may think it’s just for old people. No, it isn’t. There are over 100 types of arthritis, each with different arthritis symptoms—or no symptoms at all. Interesting, huh? I’m going to share some of my own experiences with arthritis. I’m updating this post from February 2018.

I am a pretty private person, but I feel people need to understand arthritis. Maybe you can use a few tips I have learned. I’ll be honest with you: I refuse to take arthritis prescriptions. It’s who I am. The side effects of the drugs are not acceptable to me.

I’m not saying you should or should not use the prescriptions for your type of arthritis. This is a very personal choice. There is no cure for arthritis. You may be familiar with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, but I have a different type of arthritis.

How To Cope With Arthritis Every Day

Osteoporosis/Osteoarthritis

arthritis

This one has a primary and a secondary category. Primary appears without any apparent cause. Secondary are from injuries and develop inflammation in joints. Many people struggling with arthritis are known to have sustained injuries over the years. Secondary pain may also be caused by joints affected by infections, fractures, or another form of rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, years of supporting the extra weight (obesity) lead to secondary osteoarthritis in our weight-bearing joints.

Most people don’t feel any pain from arthritis unless their joints have been overused or damaged. When symptoms do start, they progress very slowly and may seem unimportant. Some people feel mild aching and soreness when they move. Once they get moving, the pain may subside since mobility and regular physical activity seem to help.

Keep Moving

I guess that’s why we hear the statement “keep moving.” Some people feel pain when they wake up in the morning and feel morning stiffness. Once they get showered and dressed and “move,” they will feel less pain and more flexibility. Keep in mind that everyone is different when it comes to your range of motion in the various joints and how to deal with pain management. I’m not a doctor, nurse, or anyone in the medical field. I’m just sharing my over 40 years of arthritis research and personal experience.

When I was a little girl, I remember I always had back pain. Now, keep in mind I am not athletic at all. Therefore, I had zero sports injuries. I still have severe back pain to this day. About 45 years ago my rheumatologist told me something I’ve never forgotten. I remember having my youngest daughter go with me to see him, and I was crying with pain. I told him I couldn’t take the pain anymore.

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This wise doctor told me, “Get rid of the stress in your life and do something every day for someone else because you will put the pain in the back of your mind. If you keep busy, you will feel less pain.” They were going to put a morphine drip in my body that I could use to control the pain. I opted against it, at least that day. I knew I could always get it later if I needed it.

He also told me never to stay in bed because of the pain; it’s the worst thing for arthritis. Now, he did mention I needed to get plenty of rest. If you lay in bed all day, I will tell you the pain gets worse, or at least it does for me.

Arthritisarthritis

There is no cure for arthritis. Period. We can do some things to help with arthritis pain, but there is no cure. Years ago, I remember when I first learned I had this disease. I had a pinky finger with a painful joint. It was red and swollen and had a yellow substance (staph infection) on the side of my finger. I was in banking at the time, and I made an appointment with one of my orthopedic doctors because I thought maybe I had broken my finger. It hurt so bad.

He looked at it and said, “You have arthritis.” I said, “What???” He then proceeded to x-ray my neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hands, back, and feet. Wow, I was shocked when he showed me the damage my body had from this awful disease. He told me I probably got it when I was 5 or 6.

Risk Factors

Various risk factors contribute to your chances of getting arthritis. Let’s discuss some of them:

Family History

Some types of arthritis run in families. The damage worsens because it may become bone grinding directly on bone; ouch!

Age

arthritis

Some types of arthritis, including gout, increase with aging. Arthritis and gout affect your uric acid levels. The doctors will check your white and red blood cell counts and confirm your type of arthritis. The X-rays tell it all about the damage that’s been caused.

Obesity

Having a few extra pounds puts a strain on your bones and joints. Your spine, knees, ankles, feet, and hips take the brunt. Losing weight will make a big difference.

Previous Joint Injuries

You may have noticed that the older you get you’ll recognize injuries or activities that prompt arthritis. If you have a tennis elbow from playing tennis or other sports, you will very likely develop arthritis in that joint and many other joints like your wrists, fingers, knees, elbows, and shoulders from that specific activity.

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About 15 years ago I had total knee replacements for both knees. Again, I haven’t been athletic, but I did go through a period where a fell a number of times over a series of months. That, and the fact I hadn’t done any aerobic exercise routines to build strength in my legs and knees, must have prompted the need for joint replacement.

Your Sex

Women are more likely to get arthritis than men. We’re talking about 75% more women getting it than men.

Exercise

Try non-impact exercise. I use a recumbent bicycle and go swimming because they are easier on my joints. Everyone is different, so check with your health care provider for advice on what works for your body. That professional and their health care team can advise on many arthritic matters. Having quality medical professional resources available today certainly makes for broader options than I had years ago.

They may suggest walking in comfortable shoes, doing low-impact exercise, making lifestyle changes, or visiting a massage therapist or occupational therapist. These physical activity guidelines will prompt you to start with minimal activities and distances, and then increase the degree of activity as your body can handle the new levels of exercise.

Some things to consider as you take action with the low-impact approach are meditating, cycling, yoga, deep breathing, mental and physical relaxation techniques,

Glaucoma

I just had laser surgery on my eyes for Glaucoma, yes inflammatory arthritis can lead to Glaucoma. I have to have this surgery once a year to relieve the pressure in my optic nerves for the rest of my life. If you don’t wear prescription glasses, please get your eyes checked at least once a year. Glaucoma doesn’t have symptoms, and you may go blind and/or lose your peripheral vision before you realize you have Glaucoma. If you wear glasses, have them check your eyes for Glaucoma each time you go in for an eye test.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Redness, swelling, warmth, nodules, muscle aches, fever, pain, and fatigue, to name just a few. Heating Pad and Cooling Pads

Diet

Sugar, fried foods, dairy, alcohol, tobacco, and processed foods aggravate this disease. Cut out soda and flour baked goods. Eat more vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. I’m sure there are more foods your doctor will tell you to eliminate from your diet.

Please share your tips for dealing with this terrible disease. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I use essential oils, aspirin, and Ibruprofen; they all help me cope daily. May God Bless this world, Linda

Eating Whole Foods by Linda

Copyright Images: Knee picture: AdobeStock_118348863 by Vishalgokulwale, Arthritis sign: AdobeStock_103495896 by Greenapple78, Gout: AdobeStock_76033559 by ThamKC, Arthritis Hands AdobeStock_119747348 By Narstudio, Woman with Arthritis with Doctor AdobeStock_119747322 By Narstudio

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34 Comments

  1. When my grandmother died at a ripe-old-age, she left everyone in the family something to remember her by. My mother got all the cast iron cookware, my sister got all the quilts, mt dad got all the family portraits, and I got grandma’s arthritis. LOL! As a youngster I used to think all of grandma’s arthritis aches and pains “were all in her head”. Now I know better! Every time the weather changes my “gift” kicks in and I think of the old lady I miss so dearly.

    1. OH, Roland, your comment is the best! You got grandma’s arthritis!!! LOL! I hear you on the weather, oh my gosh. Mark and I moved to Southern Utah to live in the desert thinking it would help. It hasn’t. I have the giggles over the gifts she left everyone, I LOVE this! Linda

  2. Yes, arthritis Linda, very familiar term in my house, i was not satisfied to have one type of arthritis, but have four kinds. No need to go into details, people that have it don`t want to hear anymore about it.

    I am on Enbrel injections once a week, with blood work every 90 days to make sure there are no side effects. My advice to people is, get checked early in life, even if you don`t think it`s possible to have arthritis, i did not until the damage to my joints were beyond repair. Two years ago i could not walk without crutches or sometimes a cane. I don`t like taking high powered meds, but in my case, it`s the only way i can walk without crutches, canes, or help, Enbrel has stopped the arthritis from progressing any further. I walk one and one half miles every evening, you are correct in saying, keep moving, good health to you…….

  3. Hi, Linda!

    One of the best arthritis “remedies” is to make sure you get plenty of magnesium. Magnesium doesn’t necessarily require a diet high in magnesium or supplements, although both work, as it easily absorbs through this skin. Magnesium oil or soaking in a bath with epsom salts or magnesium flakes are easy alternatives to ingestion of magnesium. For those whom don’t know, there is actually no oil in magnesium oil. It is simply equal parts magnesium flakes and boiling distilled water stirred until the magnesium flakes are dissolved. Spray it on arms, legs, and abdomen after your shower/bath, wait about 5 minutes, then apply your favorite moisturizing lotion or oil.

    With a little more work, you can make a pretty easy salve to ease arthritis pain. I normally use clove or cinnamon infused oil, but any pain relieving herbal oil will work. I make my own infused oils, so I usually have them on hand.

    Here’s my simple salve recipe:

    4 T infused oil

    2 T cayenne pepper powder

    1 T each ginger and turmeric powder

    1 T dried rosemary

    2 T shea butter 2 T beeswax pastilles

    20 drops each peppermint EQ and, optionally, black pepper EO

    Place the herbs in a tea bag, fine muslin, or several layers of cheesecloth and tie closed. A fine mesh tea infuser works, as well. Place the bundled herbs in a 1 cup glass measuring cup or jar, that should be with the infused oil.

    Place water to about half way up the height of your glass container in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, then lower to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally turning the tea bag and pressing with the back of a spoon.

    After 30 minutes, allow the oil to come to room temp, remove the tea bag, and press/squeeze as much of the oil from the tea bag as possible.

    Return the cup to simmering water and add the shea butter and beeswax. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shea butter and beeswax is melted. Remove from heat and add EOs.

    Pour into a four ounce jar/container and allow to cool completely before putting the lid on.

    Use as you would any store bought pain relieving salve.

    I hope you’re having a great day! Hugs, Mare

      1. Oops, I just realized, where I said to place the bundled herbs in the glass measuring cup, that should be with the infused oil. I left out the latter in the instructions.

        It is really easy to make. I hope it works well for you and anyone else that wants to try it.

        I’ve made it a few times when I haven’t had the infused oil on hand. I just add a tablespoon of cloves or cinnamon chips to the herbs. I prefer using the infusion, but is does work, although I don’t think the end product is quite as good.

  4. I have had arthritis in my hands for many years. I take an over the counter systemic enzyme called
    Wobenzym N. I take 6 pills/day and only have slight problems with pain if i do anything that stressed the joints in my hands. It has no side effects and if I have any kind of muscle or joint injury I heal much faster than i did ten years ago. I am 74 and very active. I have recommended it to friends with mixed results. I started taking it at the first signs of my arthritis ( swelling of the hands in the morning).

      1. as far as i know Wobenzym N is the brand name of this product. I buy it online from various sellers and it always comes in the same packaging. i buy a bottle of 800 tablets for About $115. some sellers ask $300 for the same bottle. I go for the cheapest including shipping. Did i mention it is and enteric coated tablet and 29 million people in 22 countries take it. In one olympic year it got hard to get because athletes world wide use it. It takes about three week to a month to feel the effects. They say it may be a mild blood thinner but it doesn’t have that effect on me. It comes in bottles of 200,400 or 800 tablets. If you try it let me know how it works for you

  5. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis approximately 10 years ago. I woke up one morning and was in so much pain I took half hour to get out of bed. I couldn’t sit and if I fell onto a chair I couldn’t get myself up again. I have been on all the medications available as well as having the needle jabs in my knees and shoulders. Thank God for leading me to BEST HEALTH HERBAL CENTRE, please don’t ignore this post is real. Dr Linda (Best Health Herbal Centre) RA herbal remedy cured me totally within 5 weeks of usage only. No side effect, it works like a miracle, please viewers out there that have any deadly disease, please don’t fail contact Dr Linda(Best Health Herbal Centre) via their website: (www) besthealthherbalcentre. com

    1. Hi Mac, I’m going to go check out her website. I love hearing new ideas and tips. I had to modify the website because it is not a “Secure” website and will compromise my site. People can copy and paste the URL. Thanks so much for letting us know about this remedy! Linda

  6. I have found turmeric tablets help me. I take two every morning and if digging a hole like today, I take 2 about 30 minutes before digging.
    Through the last 10 years, the back is more susceptible to aches.
    I can live with it but sure can’t do what I did 10 years ago, heck, even 5 years ago.
    I am prescription free and have been for many years.

    Well, I just read the posts and am not deleting mine.

    I learned also with my late husband; stay on the turmeric. Once the tablets stop, the discomfort returns, and it takes quite a while to get to that pain-easing point.
    He found out the hard way!!

    God bless everyone and I’m off to add a crape myrtle that didn’t do well for 5 years(that’s waaaay past my limit) to another crape myrtle….two colors growing together…why not??

    Oh, I know you will ask. That little bugger is budding early as I put it in a bucket of water to see if it will live, so it will be a keeper….for now. I have read him his rights though. He’s been warned!!

    1. Hii JayJay, I got the giggles over “read him his last rights”, you’re the best, my sweet friend. I have heard about Turmeric, I need to try that again, Great reminder. Multiple colors of crape mrytle sounds beautiful. I love flowers, have a wonderful day, Linda

  7. When I started getting back pain I thought it was just normal with old age. I had no idea what arthritis really was but would be finding out. It’s too bad I didn’t know & tackle it much sooner! When the pain in one place in my back got bad, I went to a chiropractor. He saved me! I was blessed to get a really good one. The x-rays showed my back was full of arthritis. He keeps me in alignment which has really helped.

    My toes had started curling with arthritis and he worked on breaking up the arthritic cartilage (painful) and they flattened back out. I’d gone to a foot doctor who said I had to have surgery and be in a boot for 3-4 months! Curling toes wreck your balance so now I understood why some old people had trouble with that.

    Now the arthritis has started in my shoulders and hands. He’s keeping it at bay in both places. I am also using a cold red laser light he has on the joints in my hands that get painful and it is making a big difference. I also go to Silver Sneaker classes at the gym several times a week. All of this has kept me moving and I only take ibuprofen when I stand too long working in my kitchen or from working in my yard that both flare up an area in my back. I hope some of my experience can help others.

    1. Hi Kay, arthritis is not fun as many of us know. No one told us about the pain we would experience as we got older. I have never heard about the curled toes. Wow, what a blessing you found a chiropractor who knew what to do to keep you from having surgery. Oh my gosh!! I stock up on Ibuprofen and try not to use it unless I can tell it’s going to be a bad day of pain. I know what foods I can’t eat, I love sweets, need I say more. Happy Sunday, Linda

  8. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis when I was about 19 and it was gradually progressed since them. The more you can move, the better you. I had a fall in my kitchen in 2016 that destroyed my left knee and spent most of the next 90 days in the hospital in bed. Then I was sent home until I had a total knee replacement 4 months later. That’s in bed for almost 7 months. In the hospital I had daily physical and occupational therapy for about 20 minutes a day. Then at home I had about an hour of in home physical therapy three times a week. I had exercises at home plus using a walker I could move some around a room.

    I am just now coming close to where my ability to move pre-injury. I do have to use a cane but it is really a lot better than a wheelchair or walker. It may frustrate my 5th grade students that I move so slowly and man, oh man, the energy my kindergarten kids have, if life were fair, all of us over 30 would have that same energy!

  9. Linda, I forgot to ask in my previous post, what suggestions do you have for us who have limited mobility due to arthritis when it comes to prepping and possibly bugging out? Especially those of us who have joint replacements?

    1. Hi Topaz, great question, I have had both knees replaced, and I have a section in my brain that was damaged and I cannot drive or walk without assistance. I rarely leave my house, so I will probably not bug out (that’s the plan) but I’m getting a walker with a seat in case I have to evacuate. Possibly a wheelchair, not sure yet. I’m glad you asked this question! Linda

  10. Our plan is also to bug in and an alternate plan is to evacuate using our camper. I do have a wheelchair leftover from the dreaded knee injury and a mobility scooter that I still use when we go hiking. I think the only time we will evacuate would be if the house is damaged in a storm or in the case of a chemical spill from a train derailment.

    1. Hi Topaz, you are blessed to have a camper. We will leave if there is a chemical spill like you or an earthquake. If we have an earthquake (we’re on the Wasatch Fault) we will likely perish. It will be a big earthquake. Let’s pray we can bug in as planned. Fingers crossed. Linda

      1. I know what you mean about earthquakes or other natural disasters wiping you out, if the Yellowstone volcano blows, we’ll never know it.

        I’ve been watching the news about the earthquake this week that had an epi-center in New Jersey and was felt from Maine to Washington DC. Talk about an area not at all prepared for earthquakes. Hurricanes, Nor’easters, blizzards they are prepared for but not earthquakes. Guess they need to rethink that.

  11. Tumeric, Cinnamon (Ceylon), ACV, Black Cumin Seed Oil (all of which help me control my A1c) and most recently Tylenol are what helps my arthritis.

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