Sep 9, 2019
Arthritis Dos and Don’ts
There is a lot of advice about how to ease arthritis pain and stiffness with exercise, medication, and stress reduction. But how do you know what will work for you? Take charge of your diagnosis by following these simple dos and don’ts. As a result, you can enjoy life more and potentially slow down the progression of your disease.
Don’t get too comfortable on the couch.
While arthritis may force you to slow down, you can’t stop completely. Commit to helping your body move in positive directions. Manage your weight, stay physically active, and get involved in a routine that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety and increase levels of mood-boosting chemicals. Your daily workout can be as simple as a 30-minute walk or gentle yoga. If you don’t currently have an exercise program, start small and start slow.
Don’t give up.
People with arthritis want a cure. They want the disease to be gone, not to have to deal with the exhausting pain and fatigue. But until there is a cure, you must learn to cope. The progression of this disease will vary, and there will be many ups and downs, but you have to push through and give yourself the quality life you deserve.
Arthritis medication, whether over-the-counter or prescription, can only do so much, and it’s normal to still have some pain, soreness, or achiness. However, if you take too much medication, you can tax your other bodily systems and decrease its effectiveness. Talk with your doctor about the dose that’s right for you, or if your current regimen is no longer pulling its weight.
Don’t let depression take over.
Many people with arthritis develop depression, and studies show that this can increase the perception of arthritis pain. Although arthritis can be debilitating at times, it’s crucial that you don’t let it get you down. However, living with arthritis is tough, and it’s normal to feel down every once in a while. Expect to feel sad or even angry on bad days, but don’t run from it, and don’t let yourself wallow in it. If you find yourself constantly depressed, work with your doctor to find treatments that can put you on a positive path.
Do find a trusted rheumatologist.
Choosing a rheumatologist is one of the most critical decisions you will make when it comes to your condition. It is imperative that your needs are being met, so be sure to find a compassionate, communicative doctor you can trust. Support and education provided by your arthritis doctor is always your best resource. Carolina Arthritis has a team of physicians here for you to help you on your journey.
Do educate yourself.
Quality of life is easier to maintain when you understand your diagnosis. Take the time to really talk to your doctor and be sure to ask any questions you may have. Join a group, read arthritis support blogs, and subscribe to magazines. Understanding your disease will enable you to manage it more effectively, help you feel in control, and remind you that you are not alone.
Do consider lifestyle changes.
Arthritis treatment is about more than just medication and going to your doctor’s appointments. There are reasonable lifestyle changes that may improve your condition as well. Eating well, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and losing unhealthy weight are all essential components to living more comfortably with arthritis.
Do listen to your body.
If your joints ache even more after a particular activity, you may need to cut back or find a gentler alternative. Overusing your joints can cause serious damage and lead to so much pain that you won’t be able to complete your daily tasks, like cooking or getting dressed.
We hope these dos and don’ts help you to enjoy a more comfortable and active life. If you have any comments or ideas to share, head over to Facebook and let us know.