Skip to main content

The do’s and don'ts of living with arthritis

The Dos and Don'ts of Living With Arthritis
3 minutes, 53 seconds

Arthritis refers to joint disease and pain from inflamed joints. Arthritis can be the inflammation of just one joint or several joints simultaneously. It typically increases in severity with age, meaning the older an individual gets, the worse their arthritis is likely to become. In the United States, about 24% of the adult population has arthritis.

The cause of arthritis is associated with what type of arthritis a person may be experiencing. Different causes correspond with different types of joint disease. For example, arthritis that stems mostly from old age is most often osteoarthritis. Arthritis may also be attributed to overuse, injury, genetics, being chronically obese, and autoimmune issues. Some other types of arthritis include but are not limited to childhood arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

The most common symptoms of arthritis include pain and stiffness. Others include swelling, limited range of motion, red skin, warmer than normal skin temperature, and weakness. Arthritis is often confused with arthrosis, but the two are actually separate terms.

If you haven’t yet been formally diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor or a qualified medical professional can check your symptoms or conduct a series of tests in order for you to become officially diagnosed. Once you’ve been diagnosed by an expert, you can then plan a course of treatment based on your unique needs. It’s important to know that arthritis can’t be cured, but your arthritis symptoms can be managed to improve your quality of life. The purpose of treatment is to improve your quality of life. By learning the do’s and don’ts of living with arthritis, you can work toward living more comfortably.

To learn more about the types of treatment that are most commonly available to arthritis patients and the basic do’s and don’ts of living with this condition, keep reading below.

What are the treatment options for someone living with arthritis?

  • Physical therapy — Getting physical therapy is a great option for those living with arthritis. One way to alleviate your stiffness is by keeping your joints moving as much as possible. Physical therapists know which movements to guide you through so that you can target your stiff and aching joints and work toward relief.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication — Another option for dealing with joint pain is using anti-inflammatory medication. This may help reduce the pain and discomfort temporarily and maybe even reduce some of the swelling and inflammation around your joints.
  • Surgical procedure — Surgery may be an option for some patients with arthritis but is typically used in situations where more conservative treatments haven’t worked as well as a patient and their medical provider recommends it. Surgery can be effective, but it can also increase the chance of experiencing complications.

Each of these treatment options may vary in effectiveness for each person and their unique circumstances, but there are a few other ways you can manage your symptoms. Learn about the do’s and don’ts of living with arthritis in the lists below to discover how you can take back control over your arthritis.

What are some of the do’s of living with arthritis?

  • Integrate movement into your daily routine — One of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re living with arthritis is to keep your body moving as much as you can. Movement can decrease stiffness and prevent your range of motion from significantly worsening. For those with arthritis who remain stationary, their stiffness and discomfort may increase.
  • Seek a physical therapist — So you know that movement can help ward off stiffness and discomfort, but did you know that a physical therapist can help too? Physical therapy can use a specialized treatment plan to help you perform the right exercises and movements on a regular basis. They can help you reduce swelling and inflammation as well as build strength around the joints to protect them. It’s also someone who can keep you accountable for continuing to get daily movement in each day!

What are some of the don’ts of living with arthritis?

  • Ignore new or worsening pain — If you notice any changes in your pain level, like new or worsening pain, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified professional. 
  • Keep smoking — If you’re a smoker, it is in your best interest to quit. Smoking can make arthritis symptoms worse.
  • Participate in high-impact exercise — High-impact exercises, like running and jumping, can make your arthritis pain worse. You’d likely feel better doing exercises that are low stress like walking and swimming.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch physical therapists who can guide you through the do’s and don’ts of living with arthritis

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address the do’s and don’ts of living with arthritis.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


Get Help at a Location Near You

Find a Location