Treadmills seem simple, but they can be hazardous, particularly for people with joint or balance issues. Trying to catch yourself when you lose your balance can result in muscle strains or injury in almost any joint, says physical therapist Mary Ann Wilmarth, CEO of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Mass.
“Injuries can go all the way up the kinetic chain when people slip and try to recover by catching themselves. This can mean foot injuries, strained or sprained ankles, shoulders and wrists – as well as the back and hips if you’re twisting as you lose balance,” she says.
Continue reading 10 Tips for Using the Treadmill Safely with Arthritis
Getting ready in the morning can leave you feeling worn out before the day even starts, especially if morning stiffness creates difficulty with grooming and dressing. Follow these tips to make your mornings less painful.
1. Prep at night. If you’re typically less stiff in the evening, assemble your outfit and grooming needs at night before bed (and set up the coffeemaker, if that’s an important part of your morning). Lay out your supplies and clothes in the order you’ll need them.
2. Sit and shower. To avoid falls in the shower, sit on a waterproof chair. You can buy one at a medical supply store or use a sturdy lawn chair.
Continue reading 9 Tips to Make Your Morning Routine With Arthritis Easier
To minimize trauma on your body and joints while cleaning, first warm up by walking around the house. Then follow these joint-friendly easy cleaning moves.
Common mistake: Bending from the waist.
Typical tasks: Unloading washer, dryer and dishwasher; gathering and picking up items; washing dishes; ironing; cleaning under furniture; scrubbing tubs; making beds.
- Follow the old saying, “bend with your knees, not your back.” Slightly flex knees, and keep a hollow in your back.
• When standing, minimize back pressure by placing one foot on an elevated surface, such as a stepstool or bottom shelf.
• When unloading, use a “golfer’s lift.” Simply kick back the leg opposite your extended arm.
• Kneel or get help for floor-level or awkward tasks.
Continue reading Protect Your Joints With These Housecleaning Tips
In a perfect world, pain wouldn’t exist, our weight would be optimal and we’d enjoy daily exercise and have energy to spare. But the world is not perfect, and sometimes our bad habits get in the way of our best intentions to live a healthy life. You can make small changes toward adopting a healthier lifestyle and reducing your arthritis symptoms. Along with adopting the healthy habits in our previous blog post, make an effort to break these 5 unhealthy habits.
- Eating over-processed foods.
Sugar and white flour – and the overabundance of them in processed foods – can lead to weight gain, which is hard on sore joints. Replace them with fruits, nuts and whole grains. A good rule of thumb, says Rachel Brandeis, a registered dietitian in Atlanta, is to indulge in foods with fewer than 10 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. You’ll feel full on less and prevent weight gain. Continue reading 5 Bad Habits to Drop for Better Arthritis Management
Preparing healthy, nutritious meals is important for fighting inflammation and keeping healthy, but cooking can be daunting when your knees are aching or your fingers are stiff. No one would blame you if you’re tempted to pick up fast food or if you call in an order for pizza, but if you do that too often, health goes down and weight goes up. Instead, try these shortcuts that help make cooking with arthritis easier.
Batch cook. Prepare double portions or even enough for the whole week. For example, cook two or more chicken breasts at a time and refrigerate the leftovers to use in salads or sandwiches the next day. You can also freeze the extras, and use them when you’re not having a good day.
Consider convenience. Try fresh or frozen pre-cut vegetables and fruits.
Stock the crock. Place meat or poultry, pre-sliced vegetables, spices and liquid in a crock pot; turn it on and hours later enjoy a hot cooked meal – and only one pot to wash.
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Kitchen Tips
Get first-hand advice on preparing a delicious holiday meal without causing an arthritis flare from food writer Jess Thomson.
From cocktail parties to gift wrapping to the litany of family events, the spirit of the season is always exciting – but also, frankly, exhausting. With chilly weather and a too-busy schedule, November and December can mean flares for many of us. It’s hard to revel in the season’s twinkle when it hurts to hold a cocktail. And when you’re also the one expected to host friends and family for a dinner party, the thought of picking up a knife with those aching joints can be downright daunting.
Continue reading A Joint-Friendly Holiday Feast
You’ve heard about the great foods you can add to your arthritis diet. But what if you’re on a budget? Here are some smart food swaps that are easy on your wallet.
Tea. Home-brewed tea is a good source of catechins, a type of antioxidant that benefits the heart by helping blood vessels relax. That’s especially helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, who are at increased risk of heart disease. Bottled teas don’t have catechins, which degrade in a few days. Drink home-brewed instead.
Savings: About 50 cents per 8-ounce serving.
Continue reading Your Arthritis Diet on a Budget
While the frozen foods aisle can be a trap – so many highly processed items with large amounts of fat and sodium, from pizza to breaded chicken strips – healthy choices can be found. The good news is that many frozen fruits and vegetables – without sauces and syrups – have all the nutrition of their fresh counterparts; sometime more so because they are packaged as soon they are harvested. Plus, they’re convenient (no worries about spoiling) and available year-round.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Frozen Foods
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that breakfast skippers tend to overeat at other meals and snack excessively throughout the day. That can make it hard to maintain a healthy weight as you manage your arthritis.
But what you eat for breakfast is important. Hot and cold cereals are good options. They are quick ways to get a serving of fiber-full whole grains that can help reduce inflammation. While oatmeal may be your go-to grain, there are several nutritious cereals made from corn, brown rice, quinoa, hemp, buckwheat and kamut. Keep in mind that whole grain choices are not calorie-free and portion control is important.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Breakfast Foods, Coffee Tea
The fall season calls for tailgates, backyard barbecues and picnics in the park. But these festive occasions can also set the stage for food poisoning, especially if you have an autoimmune disease. Here’s how to stay safe.
“Bacteria breed faster in warm temperatures,” says Ben Chapman, PhD, an assistant professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “And there’s a greater risk for contamination when you prep and eat food outside.”
People with autoimmune forms of arthritis may be particularly susceptible. Their disease and some medications, including disease-modifying drugs and corticosteroids, can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off harmful bacteria.
Continue reading Arthritis Increases Your Risk of Food Poisoning