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Learning how to live with arthritis

December 12, 2013 • Health Matters, Retirement

ARTHRITIS.

How can I learn to live with it?

Author: Alice Turner

What is Arthritis.

According to Arthritis Research UK, arthritis can be categorised under five different types namely:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Degenerative or mechanical
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
  • Back pain
  • Connective tissue diseases

(For detailed information please read Arthritis Research UK).

Being diagnosed with arthritis is as daunting an experience as any other diagnosis. The major problem is denial. Soon after diagnosis, we tend to doubt the diagnosis and still believe we can do things that we are not able to do any more. It takes some time and a courageous heart to accept our new situation then start to live positively with the diagnosis as much as we can. Once one’s mind is at peace with the diagnosis, everything becomes possible once again. One learns to do activities one is comfortable doing without aggravating the body and starts to live life to the fullest once again.

Once diagnosed with arthritis, it is important to comply with the medical health team and follow all the treatment regime from analgesia to therapy to enable oneself to live positively with arthritis. Complying with medical health is important in that it minimises the negative effect of arthritis on one’s daily life.

Although arthritis is a long term condition, it is not life threatening but it can change one’s life style. A person suffering with arthritis will find it frustrating when one suddenly finds that simple daily tasks become painful and difficult to complete and also exhausting.

One has to learn to adjust and take it easy, which is not that simple at times but it is beneficial to avoid frustration. Financial issues suddenly become a serious problem since one is not able to work as much as one used to do. The other frustrating issue are services who are not sensitive to a person’s inability to keep up with payment of bills and loans.

Below are some recommendations by the NHS Department of Health on what one can do to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

The recommendations are:

  • control your weight to ease pressure on your joints
  • avoid stress or injury to your joints to prevent or reduce the severity of osteoarthritis
  • ensure good posture to strengthen healthy joint structure
  • use physiotherapy and a walking stick or cane to help prevent your condition getting worse
  • ensure that you regularly undertake weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, to help prevent osteoarthritis. This type of exercise will increase the strength of the muscles that support your joints

Department of Health NHS Choices. Page last reviewed 11-04-2012.

It is made clear that much as one may have an arthritis diagnosis one should not avoid doing any form of exercises but one should do them within manageable levels.

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