More Healthy Tips for Living with Spinal Arthritis
#6 Save Those Joints!
Avoid too much stress on your joints. When exercising, keep joints protected by wearing braces, comfortable supportive shoes and avoid over-exerting yourself. Learn your limits and don't push yourself beyond them. Joint protection is also important to keep in mind during regular day-to-day activities. If you need to, use an assistive device such as a walker, cane or brace. Use wheeled carts to carry heavy items. Look for household items such as electric can openers, step stools and reaching devices that spare your joints and prevent strained movement.
#7 Only Eat the Good Stuff!
Good nutrition and a balanced, low-fat diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit are a must! Look for foods that are high in vitamin C like broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and strawberries, to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. Foods like fortified dairy products and fish such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, tuna, cod, and herring are rich in Vitamin D which helps preserve cartilage. Calcium, found in milk and other dairy products as well as in broccoli, salmon and kale, will help strengthen bones. Eating well will also help keep your weight under control.
#8 Kick the Habit -- Don't Smoke!
If you smoke, quit. Especially if you have to have spinal or joint surgery. Smoking can actually prolong your recovery. If you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program that is right for you. There is no getting around the fact that avoiding tobacco use dramatically reduces a person's risk for illness, disability and premature death. Don't put it off any longer.
#9 No Pain All Gain!
Since there are such a wide variety of pain management options today, don't stop until you find the one that works best for you. Arthritis sufferers no longer need to "grin and bear it" - pain relief is possible. If you are not satisfied with how you are managing your pain, talk to your doctor about other options.
#10 Be Good To Yourself
Probably the best tip of all is to take care of you. Be aware of your body and your arthritis symptoms so that any changes can be taken care of right away. Treat yourself regularly to things that make you feel good - whether it's a massage, a night out with friends, planting a garden or reading a good book. Avoid stress in your life by eliminating those things that cause you pain and discomfort. Be good to yourself and you will be amazed at how much better you will feel!