Suffer From Osteoarthritis? 3 Ways To Improve Your Sleep
Characterized by swelling, stiffness, and pain of the joints, osteoarthritis can be a debilitating condition. While it affects your mobility and your ability to complete simple everyday tasks, osteoarthritis can also affect the quality of your sleep. If you are part of the 30 million people living with osteoarthritis, help is available. This guide will give you a few tips to help improve the quality of your sleep.
1. Heat Therapy
Heat can be a great option for relieving pain while decreasing swelling and stiffness of your joints. Placing heat on your affected joints right before bed can make you more comfortable, improving how well and how long you are able to sleep without pain.
A heating pad is one of the easiest options to consider if you want to try heat therapy. Hold the heating pad on your affected joint(s) for a few minutes at night. You can lie with the heating pad on the joints while you are in bed or place the heating pad on the joint while sitting up in a chair before bed. Either way, the heat can relax the joint, making it less stiff and more comfortable.
2. Physical Therapy
Most people are surprised to learn that exercise is actually beneficial to arthritic joints. Since osteoarthritis causes the joints to be inflamed and stiff, physical therapy involving light exercises can reduce this stiffness, making the joints easier and less painful to move.
Of course, before starting any exercise routine, consult your doctor. Many patients with osteoarthritis will need to work with a physical therapist who can design a program suited to your needs and affected joints. Low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, and stretches, can all improve the comfort and movement of arthritic joints.
3. Proper Bedding
Buying a new mattress and pillows may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will be a good investment for your health and emotional wellness. The right mattress and pillows will alleviate pressure on your joints, decreasing swelling, stiffness, and pain while ensuring you wake up more energized.
If you have an old mattress, consider updating it to ensure your spine is aligned while your joints are supported without excess pressure. A pressure sore treatment rotation mattress will not only help support your muscles and joints; these mattresses are more comfortable and effective at improving blood circulation, which eases inflammation of the joints.
Investing in new pillows is also smart. If you have a great deal of arthritic pain in your hips or knee joints, sleep with a wedge pillow between your knees. If you have neck pain because of your arthritis, invest in a firm, low-profile pillow to take pressure off your neck, head, and spine.