Learning to live with pain of arthritis in joints

Daisy Nkosi has asked for help with her arthritis.

Daisy Nkosi has asked for help with her arthritis.

Arthritis is not just one disease but a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Only a medical doctor can prescribe medication, so I have listed some suggestions to help make living with arthritis more bearable.

Educate yourself about arthritis. Use the Internet, if you have access to it, or visit your nearest library for books on the subject. Remember: knowledge is power. Try to stay positive. It is difficult to rise above the burden of chronic pain. When the pain is all-consuming, and it hurts just to move, it is easy to become withdrawn. But try to stay motivated and rise above the pain by focusing on what you can do rather than on what you can't do. Learn to pace yourself. The pain will be present whether you choose to participate or not, so make use of your time and energy to do whatever you find most enjoyable and for what is most important.

Medication forms a big part of the treatment for arthritis. Depending on your condition, it is probable that different combinations will be tried in an attempt to find the most successful.

Communicate your needs to your family, friends and colleagues.

Learn some relaxation techniques to release tension and stress. The pain and fatigue caused by arthritis is very stressful.

Manage your stress and try to eliminate it. We all respond to stress both physically and emotionally. Most people who have arthritis feel that stress negatively affects their condition. They feel more tension, pain and fatigue because of prolonged stress. It is best to respond to a particular stress in a way which eliminates that stress.

Concentrate on how to maintain the highest quality of life in spite of the arthritis.

arthritis.about.com; arthritis.com; wikipedia