As the weather gets colder, I notice my joints more, especially my hands. With aging often comes the cricks of arthritis — between the age of 45 and 63 is when may notice the first signs of arthritis.
I have arthritis at the base of both thumbs and my left wrist. When my hands are cold, particularly if I haven’t moved them much, my fingers become stiffer and I feel discomfort in my thumbs. One cool morning, I was doing some yoga and stretches lying on the floor, and as I rolled over and pushed up onto my hands and knees, my wrist and thumbs really talked to me. Ouch! Note to self — wear your WAGs!
What Causes Arthritis?
Factors that play into osteoarthritis are excessive weight, muscle weakness, repetitive movements, joint injury, and family history. The thumb is a common site for arthritis to first appear because we use our thumbs so much. My left wrist, however, was definitely caused by a joint injury. The few times I’ve fallen, I’ve always landed on my left hand. The knees are another common place for for injuries and repetitive movements. If you have a family history of arthritis or are overweight, then you’ll probably notice some joint crackling earlier — maybe in your 40s.
How to Treat Arthritis
Focus on Diet and Exercise
“We don’t have anything to prevent the disease or the progression of this disease over time, but exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are the best chance to reduce your risk factors,” says Dr. Najia Shakoor, a rheumatologist and researcher at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Movement and exercise gets the synovial fluid in your joints pumping, which lubricates the joint surfaces and makes them smoother. Controlling your diet will help keep your weight down, which adds less stress to your body.
Be Careful of Injury or Overuse
Whether it’s small or large movements, be mindful of overuse — it adds stress to your joints, and with time, wears on the cartilage. Some examples of repetitive stress include constant texting (thumbs), running, especially on payment (knees and hips), or constantly looking down at your laptop or phone (neck). All of these activities can start the degradation of cartilage that leads to arthritis.
Try a Fitness Class or Personal Trainer
There are lots of ways to keep arthritis at bay. Keep your muscles strong with group exercise classes that use your body weight, resistance bands, light weights, or steps. Pilates and yoga are great choices for stretching and strengthening too. You can work with a personal trainer for lifting weights or create a program customized to address your specific needs, particularly if you’ve got some weaker muscles. Just commit to at least three times a week.
Stretching in the morning from head to toe is a great way to start the day. You get your joint lubricated and work off that morning stiffness. Build stretch and movement breaks into your day, especially if your job has you at a computer for hours. At least once a day, you need to stretch and move to give yourself a break and some vital lubrication. Stretching, moving, or exercising is needed to help keep your joints healthy and arthritis pain down. So let’s get moving!
Stay Strong With WAGs
If health and wellness is an important part of your life, then you need WAGs. Our fitness gloves are made to offer the ergonomic support you need, whether you’re strength training at the gym or trying some simple yoga moves at home. Explore our site to learn more about the innovative design of our ergonomic gloves, and place your order today!