Self-management for arthritic pain

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Arthritic pain can be debilitating and difficult to manage day-to-day. However, like most chronic or recurrent conditions, self-management strategies can help to manage symptom and improve function. Self-management is understood as the “decisions and behaviors that patients with chronic illness engage in that affect their health”.  


1.       Keep Active

Daily movement or physical activity can be an effective way to help relieve pain and improve function. Physical activity also can help reduce the risk of developing other chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Examples of low impact exercises include walking, swimming and stationary biking.

 2.       Hot and Cold Therapy

Applying hot or cold pack can help relieve symptoms and increase circulation in related muscles and joint.

 3.       Manage Stress

Stress can play a role in how you experience pain. Developing healthy and reliable coping mechanisms can help. You may want to try practicing mindfulness or meditation for example.  

 4.       Nutrition Matters

Nutrition has an important role to play in enhancing health and helping to manage existing conditions. Notably, our diet is key to help manage weight. Losing excess weight can help reduce the stress on joints, particularly weight bearing joints. in addition, certain foods have been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties including turmeric and fatty acids such as omega 3.  

5.       Straighten Up

Posture can have a role to play in how you experience pain. A chiropractor or others can help assess, manage and provide you valuable information on strategies to use to improve posture and your environment.

 6.       Talk to your healthcare team

If you experience joint pain or other arthritis symptoms, visit your primary care provider to be assessed and diagnosed. Once you have a diagnosis, a management plan can be developed to help manage symptoms and improve your ability to do the activities you enjoy.

 7.       Protect your Joints

Injuries can contribute to and worsen arthritis. Choosing low impact activities can help minimize the risk of injuries. In addition, preventative measures can include wearing protective equipment and avoid repetitive tasks or motion.

 For more information, talk to your healthcare provider or your chiropractor.