Here are some simple non-prescription lifestyle choices to help you live with arthritis without Vioxx.
- Lose weight: The more you weigh, the more stress you put on your joints. Lose as little as 11 pounds to reduce joint pain.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can reduce bone mass, leading to your risk of complications from several forms of arthritis. Kick the habit.
- Get active: Regular exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles, lessens pain, increases range of movement, and reduces fatigue. Spend 30 minutes a day doing a physical activity you enjoy.
- Eat right: Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Research points to the importance of vitamin C and other antioxidants in reducing osteoarthritis problems. If you are looking for a snack, reach for an orange or a tall glass of orange or grape juice.
- Think big: To protect your joints, always use the largest and strongest joint possible to complete the task. The larger the surface you have to spread the weight over, the better. Carry large items close to your body, using your arms instead of your hands.
- Play smart: Protect yourself from joint injury during physical activities by warming up properly and varying use of muscle groups. Wear joint braces or guards to alleviate joint stress and reduce the risk of injury.
- Take control: It’s your health! The smallest changes can help prevent or control arthritis pain.
IT’S YOUR HEALTH is written by Conrad Meier, senior fellow in health policy at The Heartland Institute. This program is produced as a public service by Radio America. Meier passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2005.