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Arthritis Pain

Lady smiling after recovering from arthritis pain

Arthritis Pain

Millions of Australians are affected by arthritis. In fact, arthritis is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia11.

Arthritis pain refers to the pain caused by the inflammation of the joints. Arthritis can occur in people of all ages.

Symptoms include:

  • Inability to move a joint normally
  • Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Redness or warmth in a joint

Identifying Arthritis Pain

The most common areas of the body that are affected by arthritis include the knees, fingers, hips and spine.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • For some, the initial breakdown of cartilage causes no pain, while in others it causes a deep aching and soreness or stiffness that is particularly noticeable when they move
  • Tenderness after a long period of immobility, such as first thing in the morning or after sitting through a long movie, could also be a symptom of arthritis
  • Inability to move a joint normally
  • Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Redness or warmth in a joint

If you recognize or experience any of these signs, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Managing Arthritis Pain

Pain may limit some of the things you do, but it doesn’t have to control your life. There are many ways to manage arthritis pain. You may have to try different techniques until you find what works best for you.

Starting a regular fitness program is a vital step toward taking control of arthritis. Regular, moderate exercise can help improve joint flexibility and relieve pain and stiffness for people with arthritis.

Here are some additional suggestions in managing arthritis pain:

  • Choose low-impact activities, like brisk walking, cycling or swimming, that doesn’t place too much stress on the joints.
  • Avoid running and high-impact activities, which require jumping.
  • Alternate between physical activities.
  • Plan activities to last at least 20 minutes, three times per week.Increase duration gradually.
  • Exercise with a friend.
  • Try walking. It's easy, can be done indoors or outdoors and doesn't require special equipment.
  • Always cool down after exercising, with a few minutes of slow-paced activity and stretching12.
  • Take medicines wisely (Your doctor or pharmacist can help you understand which medicines are right for you and how best to use them)

References:

  1. 11Arthritis Australia, what is arthritis. Information sheet. 2014. [Accessed 18 November 2015]
    http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information/what-is-arthritis.html
  2. 12Exercising with arthritis. http://www.advil.com/exercising-arthritis [Accessed 18 November 2015]