If at some time you began experiencing the swelling, stiffness, and inflammation of your joints, then you may have discovered that you have arthritis. On the other hand, you may have had an infection or injury that exacerbated the natural breakdown of your cartilage and caused the disease. You may find comfort in knowing that there are people all over the world living with arthritis and many are thriving irrespective of the setbacks. However, learning to live with the disease can be challenging many days, so finding the best methods to cope is essential. On that note, in this guide, you’re going to find several tips that should help make living with arthritis easier.
Learn About Your Condition
One of the first things you should do when you discover you have arthritis as well as long after is educate yourself about the condition. Understanding what causes the disease, what implications this has on your body and how it progresses over time is a key way to live with the condition. One of the people in the best position to give you information on arthritis is your doctor or healthcare provider. They’ll likely be able to answer any questions that you may have as well as point you in the right direction when in regards to where you can get information. Another resource you may find useful for dealing with arthritis is the John Hopkins Arthritis Center, as they have numerous articles regarding drugs, managing your disease, as well as educational videos that you could watch. There are also numerous other reputable websites online that you may find useful. In some instances, you may even find that support groups are an excellent way to learn more about your condition as they tend to be filled with people going through similar struggles and willing to share useful information, research, and findings with you.
Understand How to Manage the Pain
Living with arthritis has a lot to do with learning to manage your pain and trying to avoid doing things that could make your condition worse. This often means that you’d need to pay attention to your body and avoid doing certain activities. Some tips for managing your arthritis and helping you protect your joints as well as accomplish your daily tasks easier include keeping your body moving and not holding a single position for too long as well as avoiding positions or movements that put unnecessary stress on your joints. It is also important that you discover your strength by seeing which of your muscles and joints are the strongest. This is key as you can then revert to using those more frequently and reduce the strain on the more affected areas. Other ways you can manage arthritis include simplifying your life as much as possible, as well as asking for help as trying to do it all on your own can be difficult and physically tasking.
Get Medical Equipment
Following on from the previous point, another way to practically live with arthritis is by getting a sufficient amount of medical equipment. Some equipment to consider include an easy lifting cushion, an electric jar opener, good grip utensils, a universal remote, portable book holder for when you’re reading, and a dual-purpose dressing stick to help you get dressed easier. Other tips to consider are using automatic toilet bowl cleaners and using sprays in showers or tubs, instead of scrubbing which could trigger episodes of discomfort or pain and add to your overall stress. There are also other devices on the market that you can use to help avoid unnecessary stooping, bending, and reaching. Additionally, making home modifications such as using casters on furniture to make housecleaning easier. There’s also the option of using a suction mat in the tub to prevent falls or putting a bathing stool in the tub or shower, especially if you have arthritis in your legs. The idea should be to look for equipment and make modifications that will make living with arthritis and moving around easier.
Take Your Medication
There are certain medications as well as prescriptions that can make living with arthritis easier. It is likely that your doctor will suggest prescriptions to you depending on the type of arthritis that you have. If you need medications for osteoarthritis, for instance, then you may need Tylenol for pain relief, Aspercreame rub to relieve joint pain as well as inflammation, as well as NSAIDS like meclofenamate, fenoprofen, or etodolac. It is key that you take these medications in the doses advised by your doctor as well as with the regularity advised. This should help with pain relief and make coping somewhat easier.
Be Patient with Yourself
When living with arthritis, it’s important to understand that every day won’t be the same. While some days may be difficult, others may be a lot better. Some tips for living with arthritis that may encourage you, include being patient and knowing that some things that you once found easy may become a lot more difficult and understanding that just because you have a bad day, it doesn’t mean that you have a bad life. Changing your mindset may also help with your patience level. For this reason, you should try and work on your mental state and adopt both a positive and optimistic mindset towards your condition as well as how you can deal with it. This is also important as failing to do so could lead to depression. However, feeding your mind with the right information, surrounding yourself with people who love you and finding consolation in people with similar struggles should go a long way.
Living with any disease can be difficult but knowing how to live with it is key. As mentioned above, being knowledgeable about your condition, understanding the tools and medication that will make it easier, and having a positive outlook are all thing that can help. Hopefully, by applying some of the tips above and combining it with a little consistency, you’ll find you can live a good quality and healthy life.