May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month.

Arthritis is a disease that affects more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the U.S. This disease impacts one in every five adults, 300,000 children, and numerous families.

Arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. In addition to stiffness, any inflamed joint can cause warmth, swelling, redness, and discomfort. Some of the possible causes include:

  • Injury, which leads to degenerative arthritis.
  • Abnormal metabolism, leading to gout and pseudogout.
  • Inherited conditions like osteoarthritis.

Doctors have historically treated arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some drugs cause side effects, and many people are turning to a natural approach to pain relief. Remember to speak with your doctor before trying these remedies.

If you suffer from arthritis, here are some tips. The Centers for Disease Control mentions the strive for five.

1. Learn new self-management skills. Find a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to take charge of your arthritis and make the correct decisions about your health. Learning strategies to manage your arthritis better can help you:

  • Feel more in control of your health.
  • Manage pain and other symptoms.
  • Participate in daily and routine activities.
  • Limit stress and help your mood.
  • Communicate better with your doctors about your care.

2. Be active. Physical activity is a simple and productive, non-drug way to relieve arthritis pain. Being physically active can reduce pain, boost function, mood, and quality of life for people living with arthritis.

3. Communicate with your doctor. Let your health care professional know that you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. It’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment.

4. Manage your weight. Losing extra weight and staying at a healthy weight is critical for people with arthritis. Losing weight reduces stress on joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.

5. Protect your joints. Consider activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These are exercises with a low risk of injury and do not put much stress on the joints.

While May is a time to be more aware of arthritis, keep in mind that we should consider our own self-care. COVID-19 puts us in uncharted territory, with no real playbook. Families are quarantined, businesses are shuttered, and schools are closed indefinitely.

These above tips for arthritis can also be used for self-care, even if you don’t suffer from the disease.

If you’ve had back pain or a stiff neck, whether from arthritis or an injury, consider Hruby Chiropractic Care. Hruby Chiropractic can ease pain in the back and neck by reducing restrictions of the vertebrae of the spine, making movement easier. Visit our website, contact us, or give us a call at 414-329-2100.