Since arthritis is degenerative and incurable, dealing with arthritis in an effective manner is the only way in which patients can lead a happy and fulfilling life. For many patients though, this is easier said than done.
Studies reveal that stiffness, fatigue, pain and severe physical limitations impact the social, physical, psychological and emotional aspects of an arthritic patient’s life. Work, leisure and family life are severely compromised.
Quite naturally, those patients who experience greater disability and pain undergo greater distress.
Gainful employment allows people to lead a happy, satisfied life. But, people suffering from certain kinds of arthritis (like Rheumatoid Arthritis) experience increasing levels of disability, and this could ultimately lead to job loss even.
Research shows that more resilient patients participate in work related activities to a much higher extent than those who were “likely to use attention diverting… to deal with their pain” (Arthritis Research & Therapy, 2006).
People who suffer from arthritis participate in fewer leisure activities because physical limitations make it difficult to enjoy these activities.
But, studies show that limiting recreational activities leads to further distress.
The pain and disability associated with most forms of arthritis interfere with many roles like that of being a spouse or parent. Almost every routine activity becomes harder, from maintaining intimate relationships to managing a household or caring for children.
However, patients who make use of problem solving and emotion focused coping strategies manage their roles quite efficiently even within the family.
The first step to dealing with arthritis is getting the right treatment. Doctors will prescribe medications depending on the type of arthritis, the amount of pain and inflammation.
Arthritis Medicines include:
Surgery is recommended in severe cases.
Along with the above, several complementary approaches help combat pain and limited mobility. These include deep breathing, muscle relaxation techniques, Yoga, Tai Chi, hypnosis and so on.
These are changes to make your life more fulfilling and less inhibited by pain and disability.
More than anything else, dealing with arthritis requires a positive mental attitude. Patients and their close friends and relatives can make it easier to face the condition if they work as a team.
In fact, this study showed beyond doubt that patients who were depressed had higher chances of developing inflammation.
So, when it comes to dealing with arthritis, you are who you think you are! Empower yourself to live your life the way you want to.