Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms
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Around 10 million Britons suffer with arthritis and other joint problems. Depending on the type of condition you have you can be left with painful, swollen joints as well as limited mobility. While there is no cure for the condition there are ways to ease the symptoms.
Wellness expert from Cannaray, Zara Kenyon, spoke with Express.co.uk about the five best ways to help arthritis symptoms.
Engage in low-impact exercise
“Movement is key,” she said. “To ensure joints stay nimble, get into the habit of keeping your limbs in motion with regular exercise.
“But take note: cardio and high-impact strength training could do more harm than good.
“What you want is a gentle, low-impact workout with fluid movement that stretches sore joints.
“Try targeting a (realistic) daily step count or doing a 30-minute yoga session.
“If joint pain is focused in your hands, repeat a few finger and wrist exercises every day.
“These could include making and releasing a fist, bending fingers and thumbs, forming an ‘O’ with your hands, and stretching wrists.”
Try relaxation techniques
Ms Kenyon explained: “There are two types of people: those who believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness, and those who think it’s, at best, a fad. If you’re in the latter group, bear with us here.
“When you’re carrying stress and tension, this can exacerbate arthritic pain, making a relaxation technique one of the most powerful tools you can have up your sleeve.
“You’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a go to see if it has a soothing impact.”
Draw a long, warm bath
She said: “We’re big fans of a bath for all manner of aches, pains and ailments, and a 2010 study from Istanbul University, published in Rheumatology International, shows that soaking in warm water can offer benefits for those with arthritis.
“Researchers discovered that 30 men and women with osteoarthritis of the knee were able to take longer, faster strides after soaking in warm water for 20 minutes a day for two weeks.
“So, why not start your day in the tub? Ensure the water is warm – not hot – and do some gentle stretches while you’re in there.
“You could even add some Epsom salts to boost the effects.”
Apply soothing cold packs
“Cold therapy can be good for arthritic joints, too,” Ms Kenyon said.
“Because cool temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, inflammation decreases when a cold pack is applied to areas of swelling and soreness.
“Try it by wrapping ice cubes in a towel or muslin cloth and pressing this DIY cold pack to your skin. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it can help to numb deep pain.”
Give sore joints a massage
She added: “Get temporary relief by massaging sore, arthritic joints.
“To make this soothing step easier, do your home massage with a scoopful of eucalyptus-infused CBD muscle balm – the melting balm to oil texture is ideal for massage.
“Reach for a generous amount, work it into the target area with your fingertips, and repeat whenever discomfort strikes.”
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