As you know from my series about joint pain, I've lived with pain for the last 6 years or so. I'm not going to suggest that this time has been easy - but there are a few tips I've learned along the way to reduce the impact it has on your life.
The key is to always try and reduce how much pain you are in - partly because it's just more comfortable, but also because continuous pain isn't going to let your body heal. I don't believe people with joint pain should wrap themselves in cotton wool, but at the same time it's a good idea to minimise pain whenever you can. These tips help you do that.
1. Use Lightweight Home Appliances
House cleaning is never fun, but it's particularly bad when you have joint pain. I used to struggle bending down to clean floors with my knee pain and always hated carrying our bulky vacuum upstairs.
That's when a friend recommended to me that I get a lightweight vacuum. I had a look at some reviews (you can see the site I used here: http://spotlessvacuum.co.uk. Lightweight vacuums are the best choice if you've got back or shoulder pain. I chose a cordless model as they seem to be the lightest, but I'm sure there are plenty of good options.
It's not just about vacuums though. Try to choose mops with long handles so you don't need to bend down, steam cleaners so you're not scrubbing all the time and anything else that might make your life easier. There's nothing to be gained from aggravating your joints when there are alternatives available. You could even consider getting a robot vacuum, although I haven't gone this far yet!
2. Keep Your Weight as Low as Possible
This one is tough, because your pain probably prevents you doing a lot of exercise. But if you're overweight, your joints are going to become aggravated faster. I found this out the hard way, but have managed to lose a lot of weight (I put a LOT of weight on after I first started getting pain, as I was used to doing lots of exercise and eating whatever I want).
Don't think you've got to lose crazy amounts though. Even losing 5 pounds might make a difference, especially to your knees.
3. Be Active but WITHIN REASON
It's vital to stay active with joint pain. If you don't, your muscles will get tighter, your weight will increase and the pain will likely get worse. The problem is doing it in moderation.
I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to get back into exercise...started slowly (like I should)...began to enjoy it more as I realise I CAN do at least some exercise...start doing more...end up aggravating all my pain and being forced to stop. I know this happens every time, yet I still keep doing it because I miss sports and activities so much.
In short, stay mobile - but don't push yourself to the point of extra pain. If your pain has increased, it's already too late. ArthritisCare.org.uk have some useful tips for the right type of exercise (it's for arthritis but I think it can be applied to any type of pain).
Do you have any tips for people with joint pain? I'd love to hear from you!