Living with Arthritis
Arthritis is known as a chronic disease and is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. Living with arthritis will definitely have an impact on your everyday life and you will need to make adjustments. Everyday tasks are now painful and are difficult to do. Regardless of this, it is important to not let this disease define you or discourage you from living your life.
Types of Arthritis
There are many types of arthritis with different causes and treatment methods. The three most common types of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis: the “wear and tear” that happens when your joints are overused. Most people have this condition than any other form of arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks parts of the body, especially the joints
- Psoriatic Arthritis: affects some people who have psoriasis. Affects any part of the body and can get worse over time
Effects of Arthritis
Arthritis effects a big physical aspect of one’s life. You may be limited due to your pain but physical activities and general movement in daily life are important for health. Even though you may not be able to do certain things you have done in the past, you can look at it in the sense that you can develop new hobbies.
Not only does arthritis effect you physically, but mentally as well. When living with arthritis, you have restrictions on your usual activities and may need to make adjustments. It is natural to have feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear, and anger and they are valid. It is important to share those feelings with others and have a strong support group behind you.
Treatments for Arthritis
The most common type of treatment for arthritis is by seeing your local physical therapist or occupational therapist. Physical therapists can teach you how to work out your stiffness without further damaging your joint. Occupational therapists can teach you how to reduce strain on your joints during daily activities. They also show you how to modify your home and workplace environments to reduce motions that can aggravate your arthritis.
It is very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have arthritis. Increased fatigue and energy depletion are some side effects that may occur. By eating healthy, you will be giving your body the nutrients it needs to help you stay energized. Especially with rheumatoid arthritis, it is key to avoid foods that can trigger flares.
Lose Excess Weight
According to Healthline, carrying excess weight can put an added stress on the joints, which can increase pain. Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent any future damage to your joints.
There are a lot of benefits to exercise other than just weight loss. Even if you are an ideal weight, exercise is very important. Exercising may sound as if it will worsen your arthritis, but it actually helps maintain joint function, bone strength, and muscle strength. As said on Very Well Health, it is considered an essential part of treatment for hip and knee osteoarthritis. Getting plenty of exercise also improves your sleep and mood as well.
Arthritis is known to affect 1 in 4 in the United States. Living with arthritis will call for a change in lifestyle but that does not mean you must change who you are. There are many treatments and ways you can help your arthritis. You do not need to let it define who you are and as long as you have a strong support group, you can overcome anything.