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Achiness, stiffness, and swelling in your joints may be a sign of arthritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the joints.

Often thought of as an old person’s disease, arthritis affects more than 50 million adults of all ages and an estimated 300,000 children. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and can progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities, and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.

Many people believe the pain associated with arthritis is something they must live with.  But there are some do’s and don’ts you can follow to reduce your discomfort.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking, while not recommended, can really have an adverse effect on an arthritis sufferer. It slows cartilage cell production and raises the levels of blood toxins, which leads to cartilage loss. Smoking also increases carbon monoxide levels in the blood, which could indirectly affect cartilage repair.

Do Low-Impact Exercises

Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, get up and get moving. Choose exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting your knee and boost flexibility. Yoga, walking, swimming, and resistance exercises help strengthen these muscles.

Don’t Be Sedentary

Believe it or not, too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Simple stretches and walking around the house can help flex those muscles and help beat the pain.

Do Watch Your Weight

If you are overweight, the extra weight will add to the strain on your knees. Losing weight and keeping at a healthy weight will help prevent and ease the pain.

Don’t Wear the Wrong Shoes

Select comfortable footwear that reduces stress on your back and knees. Ladies, this means it may be time to retire the high heels. Shoes with cushioned insoles can help. Some doctors will also recommend orthotics — custom-made insoles — which can reduce the ill effects of your condition.

Do Eat to Avoid Pain

There are certain foods you can add to your diet that are proven to reduce inflammation, thus reducing the pain and swelling of arthritis. These foods include:

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Green tea
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Green vegetables

Testing for Arthritis

While pain and swelling in your joints will alert you to a potential issue, there is more to knowing if you have arthritis than you may think. A blood test is required for you to know for certain. Any Lab Test Now® offers the  Arthritis Screening Panel, which can determine whether you have arthritis or some other related health issue.

The screening includes the Rheumatoid Factor (RF) test, which is primarily used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis and other conditions that cause joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, and others. It is commonly ordered with other tests like the CRP (C‐Reactive Protein) and a CBC.

Unlike most blood testing, no appointment or doctor’s prescription is needed. Once you get the results, you can share the details with your primary care physician or seek out the care of a rheumatologist who specializes in treating arthritis.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including testing for arthritis.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores are sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to help.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.