Guide to Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Guide to Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a nasty disease that will definitely make your life very uncomfortable. Numerous research labs all over the world work overtime to develop a cure for this condition, but they haven’t been successful so far. The medications we have today are much more efficient than the drugs used a couple decades ago and they can slow down the progression of the disease. However, nothing can cure it completely.

Therefore, the negative changes that arthritis will bring into your life are going to be permanent. Even if your condition isn’t severe enough to cause a disability, you will have to learn how to cope with it if you want to preserve the quality of life you are used to. The following guide will help you with this.

1. Admit that you need help.

This is the most important and most difficult step. Living with chronic pain is hard, but it’s even harder to admit that you need help with managing it. You need to understand that rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that won’t go away just because you will it to. On the contrary, trying to ignore the pain will only make you feel worse. In order to bring the pain down to a manageable level, you will require complex therapy that should be designed by a qualified professional. Therefore, the first step towards effective arthritis pain management is seeking help from an experienced doctor.

2. Take specialized medications. 

A doctor will prescribe you the necessary drugs that will help slow down the progression of the disease. Sometimes, medications can be effective enough to reverse some of the damage. The sooner you start the treatment, the better your chances are of restoring your joints and slowing down arthritis considerably. So, it’s essential to consult a medical professional if you experience pain in the joints on a regular basis. There are many types of drugs used to treat arthritis today, and you will need to try quite a few of them in order to determine which work best in your particular case. As the condition is sure to act out occasionally, you will need to have non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs on hand to deal with the pain (ibuprofen, naproxen sodium). Using topical treatments like Velatrin will also help manage the pain when it becomes too much to bear.

3. Meditate.

Simple breathing exercises and meditation will help relax your mind and “embrace” the pain. Suffering from a chronic condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is extremely stressful, so you will need to strengthen your mind in order to accept the changes to your life and get used to them. Meditation will be a great help with restoring your inner peace in the face of changed circumstances.

4. Seek counseling and support.

Chronic pain often leads to bouts of depression and anxiety. If you develop these issues, you should seek professional counseling immediately. The longer you ignore the problem, the worse it will get. Talking to a professional counselor will help you get through this difficult period in life. If you don’t feel comfortable about this, join a support group. Sharing your stories with people who understand you and are going through the same experience is highly therapeutic.

5. Exercise.

Physical exercises are necessary to keep the pain under control as they strengthen your joints and increase their resistance to the disease. Consult an experienced trainer to develop a workout routine that would be safe for you.

6. Do the things you enjoy.

If you are fond of some specific activities, like biking or knitting, you need to keep doing them even in spite of the pain. Sticking to your hobbies will help you cope with the changes in your life. Consult a doctor about how to make these activities safe for you.