April News – Smart Moves Help Arthritis Pain

Arthritis Pain – YOU CAN MANAGE IT!

Senior woman massaging painful hand joints.

You can manage arthritis pain with enough rest, correct exercise and the right medicines.

Take action to ease arthritis pain. Get enough rest, exercise right, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and learn the right way to use and protect your joints.

During the day, if you’ve been sitting, adjust your position frequently. Periodically tilt your neck from side to side. Bend and stretch your legs. Pace yourself. Take breaks so that you don’t over use a single joint and cause more pain. Stand up and walk around every 30 minutes.

Proper shoes and a cane can help. Have the cane fitted by a professional. Don’t borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Gadgets help open jars and bottles and turn doorknobs. Try a heating pad or cold pack, soaking in a warm bath or swimming. Try gentle exercise in the evening and you will feel less stiff in the morning.


Senior African American couple cycling in park

You can and should exercise if you have osteoarthritis.

Daily Exercise is Helpful for Arthritis Pain

If you have osteoarthritis (OA), you may be thinking that exercise would harm your joints and cause more pain. This is not true. Research has shown that people can and should exercise when they have osteoarthritis. Exercise is the best and most effective non-drug treatment for pain reduction and improved mobility. It also reduces stress.

It’s not easy to start an exercise program when you have stiff, achy joints. See your doctor first to get your pain under control. Your doctor can call AW Health Care and approve a therapist to develop an effective home exercise program.

Questions? Call AW Health Care for more information: (314) 330-7992.
  • Range-of-motion exercises, like dancing, might relieve stiffness, keep you flexible, and keep your joints moving.
  • Strengthening exercises, such as weight training, will strengthen muscles that support and protect your joints.
  • Aerobic or endurance exercises, like bicycle riding, will improve heart and artery function, will help prevent weight gain, and also may lessen swelling. Low-impact exercise like Tai Chi, yoga or swimming may be a good way to start.


Senior man reading medicine bottle label at kitchen table.

There a many medicines to treat arthritis pain. Check with your physician for what’s right for you.

Medications Work Differently to Treat Arthritis Pain

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or Ibuprophen at higher doses reduce joint inflammation.

Analgesics, like Tylenol, fight pain but not inflammation others called

Opioids may be used for short-term arthritis flares because they cause physical dependence and constipation.

Corticosteroids which fight inflammation are taken orally as pills, absorbed through the skin as topical agents, or injected directly into inflamed joints.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS like Methotrexate) suppress the body’s immune system and are effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus.

Biologics, like Xeljanz, Humira or Enbrel, suppress the immune system and stop joint damage from occurring. These do not cure arthritis but can put the disease into remission.

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