If you have recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you will likely have questions about how to live with the disorder. Rheumatoid arthritis affects a person both physically and emotionally. Here are some suggestions to help someone who is living with this chronic disease.
Coping With Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition. Not everyone has a constant level of pain every day but living with chronic pain can be very difficult. Taking medications can help, but the drugs may not eliminate discomfort.
Rheumatoid arthritis is painful because of inflammation and long-term joint damage. A person living with chronic pain is also under stress simply because they hurt. The stress from being in pain wears the person down. Someone who is worn out is simply unable to cope as well with circumstances in their life, including their level of pain.
It is possible to live better while experiencing chronic pain. Take steps to educate yourself about pain and what it means. Then learn techniques to help you cope with the pain that you are experiencing.
Medication is only one way to cope with pain. If you have been prescribed medication, do take it as prescribed and at regular intervals. It’s important to try to stay on top of the pain, rather than miss a dose and then have to play catch-up.
Learn how to meditate and/or do relaxation exercises to cope with pain. Another strategy that may help is to distract yourself from the pain by doing something else. Choose something that you enjoy; by focusing your attention elsewhere, you may get some relief. If you are hurting, you also have the option of applying a hot or cold compress to the affected area.
A visit to a massage therapist may also help. If the cost of a session with a massage therapist is keeping you from seeing one, you may want to see if there are any massage therapy schools in your town or city. Schools may offer massages performed by students at a discounted rate.
Emotional Aspects of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living with chronic pain can affect a person’s mental outlook. It is quite normal for a person diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis to feel frustrated and discouraged from time to time. Feelings of depression and/or anxiety are not uncommon.
It is important that the person with rheumatoid arthritis share his or her feelings with their doctor. They may need to be prescribed anti-depressant medication and/or seek counseling from a therapist to cope with the pain and their feelings about it.
Asking for help isn’t necessarily easy, but it certainly is not a sign of weakness. Joining a support group may be helpful, as well. Part of the problem with living with chronic pain is that it is isolating; the sufferer tends to think that he or she is the only one with the problem and that no one else will understand it.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis is not easy, but help is available. Work with your doctor and other health care professionals to come up with a treatment plan that will work for you and give you the best possible quality of life. You are definitely worth it. Best orthopedic doctor NYC helping hundreds of people related to orthopedic problems, you should consult there.