The Pain: Joint Disorders (Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis)
You tried: Exercise
Likely mistake: You have a really hard time motivating yourself to get out the door when your joints are aching.
Get the most out of your treatment: Here's the thing with exercise and arthritis, says Bergstrom: it's going to involve some discomfort, but it's worth it (as long as the pain is not intense). "Exercise strengthens the muscles and tendons that support the joints, which helps hold the body in proper alignment," he says. It also improves blood flow to the affected area to speed healing. Keep in mind that even when walking seems like the last thing you feel like doing, Bergstrom says it will distract your brain from your arthritis pain, making you feel better than if you stayed on the couch. Lighten the impact on your joints by walking on trails or grass, using the elliptical machine or doing exercises in a pool.
Keep in mind: The herbal remedy devil's claw, taken orally in powdered form, has been shown to help decrease osteoarthritis-related pain when combined with ibuprofen and even on its own. While it's not known for sure how devil's claw works, Bergstrom says the hypothesis is that it decreases inflammation.