About one in four adults has arthritis, with 25% of these patients suffering from severe joint pain. As a result, about one in 10 adults feels unable to perform certain activities.
Chronic joint inflammation could impact your mobility and quality of life. Before that can happen, use these tips to learn how to reduce joint inflammation.
With these tips, you can take control of your life by easing the symptoms of your inflammatory arthritis. Read on to ease your pain and discomfort today.
What Is Joint Inflammation?
Before you can best determine how to reduce your joint inflammation, it helps to learn more about what’s causing it.
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to irritants, injuries, and infections. Diseases, wounds, and even allergies can trigger inflammation. One of the most common causes of joint inflammation, however, is inflammatory arthritis.
Usually, inflammation (and the pain it causes) fades on its own. Inflammatory arthritis, however, can get worse in time when left untreated.
Joint inflammation can occur if damaged tissues or your immune system releases chemicals that trigger symptoms in a joint. A medical condition sometimes causes joint inflammation, too.
When a joint becomes inflamed, blood vessels around the joint will dilate, allowing blood to reach the area. Your body will trigger an immune response by sending white blood cells to the inflamed site. The white blood cells fight the irritant or infection.
This process causes inflammation to occur. The joint may begin to feel painful or hot.
While inflammation is meant to help your body fight invaders, it can cause serious damage to a joint when it becomes chronic.
If you experience joint pain and inflammation, you might also recognize symptoms like:
- Redness or warmth around the area
- Pain or aching in the joint
- Swelling or bulging in the joint
- Difficulty moving
- Pain elsewhere
If you sustained an injury, these symptoms might only last for the short term.
Reducing Joint Inflammation
Remember, the right treatments for joint inflammation will vary based on what’s causing the inflammation. In some cases, more serious situations require medical treatment or surgery.
You should see a doctor if your joint inflammation doesn’t subside after a few days. If you’ve developed chronic joint inflammation, they can help you develop a customized treatment plan.
In the meantime, here are a few ways you can learn how to reduce joint inflammation.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used for pain and inflammation relief. NSAIDs are available over the counter, including:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
Try to avoid taking NSAIDs long-term without consulting a doctor first.
Some illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, increase inflammation to the point that you’ll require stronger prescriptions. These might include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). You can also look into biologics and corticosteroids to fight inflammation.
However, these drugs work by targeting certain molecules in the immune system. They don’t always work the same way that NSAIDs do. Consulting your doctor can help you make a more informed choice.
Your doctor might prescribe corticosteroids in the form of a pill, shot, or cream. These anti-inflammatory medications work similarly to cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. Cortisol also plays a part in how the body naturally manages inflammation.
Corticosteroids are usually prescribed for short-term relief.
Some dietary supplements can reduce inflammation. However, they can also interfere with any prescription medications you’re taking. Make sure to talk to your doctor before you begin taking new supplements.
For example, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) can help reduce inflammation.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used for arthritis, too. However, they can interact with blood thinners and cause issues for people with kidney disease or diabetes.
Adjust Your Diet
Consider following an anti-inflammatory diet to ease your inflammation and joint pain.
Start by cutting out saturated and trans fats. You can also limit your intake of dairy products, vegetable oils, and red meat. Processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugary foods can increase inflammatory chemicals, too.
These foods could make your inflammation worse.
Instead, choose foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon. You can follow a Mediterranean diet to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Consider eating more:
- Whole grains
- Yogurt, poultry, cheese, and eggs in moderation
You can consult your doctor to make healthy, informed changes to your diet.
Being overweight could increase inflammation throughout the body as well. You can work with your doctor or a physical trainer to determine the best way to lose weight.
Reducing your weight by as little as 5% could lower levels of inflammation.
Try to schedule 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week to lower inflammation levels.
Many people with arthritis avoid exercise because they believe exercising makes their symptoms worse. However, it can help to start slow. Consider swimming, which will minimize pressure on the joints.
Get Enough Sleep
Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Otherwise, inadequate sleep can increase inflammatory markers. Sleep disturbance can also increase systemic inflammation.
Try to develop healthy sleeping habits.
First, make sure to wake up and go to bed at the same time every morning and night. Make sure your sheets, mattress, and pillow are all comfortable.
Consider listening to music, meditating, or using deep breathing techniques to relax. Otherwise, look for ways to reduce stress in your daily life. Otherwise, elevated stress levels can contribute to your inflammation.
Cutting bad habits like smoking could lower inflammation, too. Otherwise, smoking tobacco can increase levels of inflammatory marketers throughout the body.
If you’re looking for a reason to quit, this is it.
How to Reduce Joint Inflammation: Visit a Specialist to Ease the Pain
Learning how to reduce joint inflammation can benefit your mobility and quality of life. Consider using these tips and treatments for inflammation. Otherwise, talk to your doctor.
With their help, you can make the necessary changes to your routine to minimize your chronic joint inflammation.
Want to speak with a specialist? We’re happy to help.
Contact our clinic today to get started.