Essential self-care for arthritis

Published On: Mar 26 2013 12:56:14 PM PDT   Updated On: Apr 08 2013 08:54:00 AM PDT
Elderly hands

By Barbara Floria, Pure Matters

If you have arthritis, taking your medication and following your doctor's recommendations are essential. But self-care can be just as important in your daily and long-term management of the disease.

Other important parts of treatment include exercise, rest and relaxation, a healthy diet, and instruction on how to use your joints and ways to conserve energy (no wasted motion).

The following medical and self-care steps can make living with arthritis easier and less painful.

Medical essentials

There are many types of arthritis. Experienced health care providers, physical therapists, and occupational therapists can recommend exercises that are particularly helpful for a specific type of arthritis.

Movement musts

Three types of exercise are best for people with arthritis, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):

Here are some ideas for exercising with arthritis:

Dietary directives

Preempt pain

Finally, learn everything you can about your condition so you can better manage it. Staying current with research, new medications, advances in surgery and arthritis devices can help reduce pain and maintain your activity level.