Table of Contents
- 1 Daily Life with Arthritis – Managing Pain
- 1.1 Managing a daily life with Arthritis – A comfortable home
- 1.2 Daily life with Arthritis – Make the right choice in footwear
- 1.3 Daily life with Arthritis – Appropriate & comfortable chairs
- 1.4 Daily life with Arthritis – a stairlift or a home lift
- 1.5 Daily life with Arthritis – Sleep
- 1.5.1 Lack of proper sleep worsening arthritic pain
- 188.8.131.52 Try heat therapy prior to going to bed
- 184.108.40.206 Does you current medication regiment affect your sleep? Explore other solutions
- 220.127.116.11 Consider taking pain medication at night
- 18.104.22.168 A new mattress might be an option
- 22.214.171.124 Choose the right type of pillow
- 126.96.36.199 Investigate any sleep irregularities such as apnea
- 188.8.131.52 Don’t forget physical exercise and stretching
- 184.108.40.206 Start having a healthy sleep routine
- 220.127.116.11 Keep up with your Arthritis management and any other medical conditions
- 1.5.1 Lack of proper sleep worsening arthritic pain
- 1.6 Daily life with Arthritis – Working with arthritis and joint pain
- 1.6.1 If you work while sitting down, here are a few tips:
- 1.6.2 If your job requires you to be on your feet all day:
- 1.6.3 Whether you are working in an office or standing all day at work, take a break!
- 1.7 Daily life with Arthritis – Looking after your joints
- 2 Daily Life with Arthritis – Exercise
- 2.1 Choosing the right exercise routines for you
- 2.2 What exercise should you do if you have Osteoarthritis?
- 2.3 What exercise should you do if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- 2.4 How to avoid sports and exercise injuries if you have Arthritis
- 3 Daily life with Arthritis – Diet
- 4 Daily Life with Arthritis – Driving
- 5 Daily life with Arthritis – Fatigue
- 6 Daily life with Arthritis – Gardening
- 7 Daily life with Arthritis – Pregnancy
- 8 Daily life with Arthritis – Sex and relationships
Daily Life with Arthritis – Managing Pain
Daily life with Arthritis is a struggle. If you are suffering from Arthritis, pain becomes something that you have to deal with on a day to day basis. One of the major symptoms and side effects of Arthritis is pain. Therefore, it is imperative for Arthritis patients to inform themselves of seek medical attention with regards to short-term and or chronic pain.
Although there are numerous types of pain management techniques, pain management for Arthritis is very unique to individual patients. It is highly recommended that patients seek as much information from their doctors as the first line of defense against arthritic pain and as the foundation for understanding how to live a normal life with Arthritis.
- Pain management (How pain can affect people with arthritis, The pain cycle, The pain barrier, The importance of focusing away from pain)
- Pain control methods (How to use your joints to avoid stress and pain, The benefits of self-help groups and what self-management is, The importance of exercise in keeping you healthy and relieving stiffness, Specific methods of pain control such as massage, relaxation, hypnosis, counselling, complementary therapies and drugs)
- Next steps (Where you can find help, the role of your healthcare team and pain clinics,Tips for your own pain management)
- Pain management resources
Especially for the elderly who spend a lot of time at home, being able to comfortably undertake simple tasks at home without help is vital in their daily life with Arthritis. The key for patients is understanding how symptoms cause issues and how to minimize the effects at best.
A daily life with Arthritis will require useful gadgets and a few small changes and adjustments that will make life easier and safer. The following are examples of adjustments that can be undertaken.
- Rig the letter box with a container such as a bucket
- Rewiring all electrical sockets so that they are at a higher level
- Build shelving to store daily use item that can easily be reached
- Try gizmos such reaching sticks
- Large rocker, pull-cord or touch operated light switches are easier to use.
- Electric or gas fires are easier to turn on if the control knob is on the top.
- A contour grip will help if you have difficulty turning dials or knobs.
- Handiplugs and stick-on plugs can make plugs easier to pull out.
- Built-up key handles can help with inserting and turning the key in the lock.
- Wrapping an elastic band around rounded door handles can make them easier to open.
- Remove any loose mats or carpets.
- Make sure your stairs, hall and landing are well lit.
- Make sure you have enough space to get between or around your furniture.
- Fix a second banister on the stairs and a grab rail by the front door.
- Think about altering your doorstep, especially if mobility is a problem or if you use a walking aid or wheelchair. Social Services can help with this.
A daily life with Arthritis requires movement. However, movement can increase joint pain. It is therefore very important not to overlook the need for the right shoes. Footwear makes a huge difference for almost all foot issues and the importance of appropriate footwear should be paramount to the pain management regiment a patient chooses.
Suitable chairs for Arthritis patients are usually very difficult to find. Things to consider:
- Do you slouch when sitting down?
- Do you feel uncomfortable after sitting down for a while?
If you answered YES to the above questions, then it is time to find a new chair to enjoy a normal daily life with Arthritis.
Unfortunately, it is not that easy. There are a lot of offer for chairs designed for people with Arthritis. The following are just guidelines that can assist you in making the right choice for a chair:
Chairs for Arthritis sufferers should also serve more than one purpose. When considering a chair, please answer the following questions:
- Is this chair comfortable?
- Will it support my joints?
Consider the following questions when looking at how comfortable a chair is:
- When you try sitting on the chair, does its height affect you? Or is the height appropriate for you?
- Does getting up from chair cause you more pain?
- Do the armrests help you easily hoist yourself from a sitting position?
Daily life with Arthritis can be painful as well as frustrating when you are unable to hoist yourself from a sitting position.
Check to make sure that:
- Do the chair seat and backrest give provide enough support to allow you to hoist yourself up?
- Can you easily change position should you need to relieve pain?
Seat covers are one thing that most people forget. They should also be a part of the solution. When you need to move the chair, will they hinder the movement? Are the< suitable for the chair? Will they eventually fit in the rest of your furniture?
Although cost will play a factor, it is recommended to consult with associations to find out reputable sources of new chairs.
Specialists will allow you to test the chair before buying, which gives you an idea of whether the chair will serve to alleviate pain and at the same time remain comfortable.
There a lot of mobility and accessibility providers. There a lot of resources that can help you research the best and affordable providers (such as https://dir.indiamart.com/impcat/stair-lift.html )
A normal daily life with Arthritis could be drastically improved by having a stairlift or homelift installed. Arthritic pain associated with movement will be reduced considerably when the patient exerts themselves as little as possible in cases of severe Arthritis.
Although a lot of people do not pay attention to sleep, it has very severe consequences for people with Arthritis. It affects daily life with Arthritis by worsening arthritis-related symptoms.
Other side effects include:
- Affected memory
- Lack of concentration
As part of a daily life with Arthritis, it is a known fact that a lot of patients have an increased likelihood of sleep difficulties. The tossing and turning through the night, or waking up before the sun rises, sleep deprivation directly and indirectly results in the worsening of pain which has an adverse effect on the daily life with Arthritis
The following are recommendations that might assist you to fall asleep: (Please consult with your doctor first!)
Try heat therapy prior to going to bed
For about 20 minutes each night before going to bed, use a heating pad. They are very effective. Alternatively, taking bath has the same soothing effect. However, please remember to avoid overheating by just relaxing and cooling off afterwards. You do not want to try and sleep when the body is overheated.
Does you current medication regiment affect your sleep? Explore other solutions
Medication for Arthritis can result in insomnia and or other sleep issues. Consult with your doctor when you cannot get a good nights sleep. The options should be to completely switch the drugs or change when you have to take them.
As part of ongoing research, doctors are always on the lookout for possible patients to go into their trials. Should there be a sleep trial, you can always ask your doctor if you qualify to participate.
Consider taking pain medication at night
With some readily available over the counter drugs, it is also possible to relieve the pain. There are indeed some OTC drugs that can be used to relieve pain as well as help patients to sleep well. Please consult your doctors.
A new mattress might be an option
Sleeping comfortably can also be attributed to a comfortable mattress, which not only provides comfort but also support while you sleep. Arthritis patients require a sturdy and supportive mattress.
If however you find the cost of a new mattress prohibitive, please consider buying a mattress topper.
Choose the right type of pillow
Pillows also play a key roll in the quality of sleep that you get. Patients with neck arthritis, should use a standard pillow that’s firm but not too high. On the other hand, patients with hip or knee arthritis, should consider a wedge pillow or a small pillow between the knees.
Investigate any sleep irregularities such as apnea
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of both osteoarthritis and a sleep condition called sleep Apnea. Apnea causes patients to stop breathing and wake up abruptly several times at night. Talk to your doctor about possible remedies if you start developing symptoms of Apnea. The doctor can indeed assist you understand how you can manage the condition.
Don’t forget physical exercise and stretching
Movement is key to joints. The are meant to constantly move. Immobility causes joints to be stiffer and more painful they’ll. Maintaining strength and range of motion in arthritis-affected joint very important. That is hy staying active is recommended as well as stretching.
Start having a healthy sleep routine
Follow habits that promote good sleep, such as:
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Establishing a night routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep
- Banning phones, TVs, and other electronics from the bedroom
- Avoiding large meals and caffeine before bed
Keep up with your Arthritis management and any other medical conditions
The better your overall health, the less likely conditions like arthritis or others will disrupt your sleep.
For patients who still must work, daily life with Arthritis can be a constant struggle.
The challenges that that Arthritis brings at work can however be mitigated by adjusting the work routine and environment which result in making work life easier.
Mobility at work is key to a comfortable daily life with Arthritis while working.
Regular movement keeps joints limber and mobile. Work environments that do not involve moving regularly are therefore very counterproductive for the treatment of Arthritis and offering a comfortable daily life with Arthritis.
In case you are suffering from Arthritis, what should you do at work?
The following are recommendations for office workers.
Make sure you are constantly sitting up straight:
You can almost hear your mother’s voice saying it, but guess what? Mom was right. Sitting up straight keeps the spine aligned properly, prevents lower back pain, and keeps your neck from straining.
Position your keyboard correctly:
The farther away your keyboard is, the more you have to lean to reach it. That means adding unnecessary strain on your neck, shoulders, and arms. Keep your keyboard at a comfortable distance so your arms can rest easily on your desk while you sit up straight.
An orthopedic chair, a keyboard rest, or even a small pillow can help you get the most comfort out of your workplace.
Get up and walk around
The water cooler might be the place for gossip, but getting up and getting a glass of water — or walking over to a coworker’s desk instead of sending an email — incorporates some movement into an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.
Move while sitting
Simply extending your legs every once in a while can prevent knees from stiffening. Don’t be afraid of fidgeting — it’s good for your arthritis.
Working the coffee counter, the line in a kitchen, or anywhere else you stand for long periods of time is filled with repetitive movements that can be just as damaging to joints as inactivity can. While activity is important for arthritis patients, getting relief when the pain is too much to bear can sometimes be difficult during some jobs.
Here are some tips to keep movement to a minimum when you’re doing it all day long:
Keep what you need the closest to you, whether it be tools, paperwork, electronic devices, or whatever it is you use the most. While movement is important, unnecessary stretching and pulling could tire you out quicker than you want.
Injuries from improper lifting are common ways to put anyone out of work, whether they have arthritis or not. People with arthritis need to be especially careful when lifting because of the deterioration and inflammation caused by arthritis. Ask for help, use a back brace, or do whatever you see fit to prevent injury to muscles and joints.
Standing in one position all day can increase stiffness. Look for an excuse to bend your knees if you stand all day. Stooping down for a second gives the knees a chance to release built-up pressure from standing up all day.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working a six- or 12-hour shift, break time often feels sacred. Not only is it a mental break, but it’s a great opportunity to recharge physically.
Whether you sit all day long or you’re on your feet from dusk till dawn, it’s important to take a few minutes to consider your arthritis:
Stretch you joints
One easy rule that might seem odd is: if it hurts, move it. If your knees hurt, take some time to stretch them out, even if it’s as simple as trying to touch your toes. Slowly roll your head around to loosen your neck muscles. Make a tight fist then stretch out your fingers to get blood flowing to the joints in your hands.
Walk around a bit
Grabbing a few coworkers and going for a quick walk around the block or to a local park not only gets you moving, but the fresh air and socializing can help shed unwanted stress.
Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water is vital to maintaining flexibility. Keep your body hydrated all day.
If you need to sit down and rest your joints, it down!
Make sure you maintain a healthy balance of movement and rest. You don’t want to overdo it, so give your joints a rest occasionally. You may need more rest when inflammation flares up, but don’t let it get to the point where movement is difficult because you’ve rested for too long.
We use our joints in every movement we make, so it’s really important to look after them, especially if you have arthritis. We’ll explain what you can do to reduce the strain on your joints.
Splints for arthritis of the wrist and hand
Wrist and hand splints give protection and support for painful, swollen or weak joints and their surrounding structures.
Exercise is important for people with arthritis. Keeping your joints supple will help to reduce your pain and help you to stay independent.
There are three types of exercise that combine to make up a good fitness program. They are:
- range of movement – this helps improve strength and flexibility and promotes good posture; try swimming, tai chi and golf
- strengthening – this will help build the muscles, which in turn provide better support for your joints; try weight training
- aerobic – this raises your heartbeat, which helps to improve your level of fitness by strengthening your heart; some of the best forms of aerobic exercise are brisk walking, cycling and tennis.
Remaining physically active gives you the best possible chance of managing the symptoms of arthritis effectively. It is also essential for minimizing your risk of developing a number of other health problems.
Don’t over do it! Stick to a pace that you are comfortable with
Finding the right level of physical activity is very important if you are to feel the health benefits of exercise. Try to be realistic about the amount of exercise you are able to do and choose an activity you enjoy.
You may experience some pain when you first start a new exercise program. This is often due to new muscles being used. However, if you feel pain for longer than two hours after exercising, or you have any pain in the joints, consult your doctor or physiotherapist before doing the exercise again.
Listed below are some tips for exercising with Osteoarthritis:
- Regular exercise can be the best way to help reduce the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. By keeping active you will strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints which will reduce further joint deterioration.
- Exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight which means you will put less strain on your joints.
- A moderate exercise program is far more beneficial than a strenuous program. Too much exercise can cause further pain and joint degeneration.
- Try to do small exercises every day to improve your range of movement.
- Never force a painful joint.
Listed below are some tips for exercising with Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- It is very important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to get the right balance between rest and activity.
- You can still exercise during a flare-up, but you should reduce the intensity of your workout.
- Exercise when you are least tired.
- Try to do small exercises every day in every joint that improve your range of movement.
- Exercising in the morning can help to reduce morning stiffness.
- Exercising in the evening can help to prevent it.
- Exercises that build and strengthen muscles can help protect and support your joints.
- Swimming and cycling are low impact exercises and particularly good for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Concentrate on maintaining good posture at all times.
Although it’s a normal occurrence, a lot of exercise-related injuries can be avoided with training, proper technique and preparation. Please take care when exercising and make sure you don’t over do it. Listen to your body.
There’s a great deal of advice about diets and nutritional supplements that claim to help arthritis. We explain what’s most likely to help, what might help, and what probably won’t help.
Arthritis can affect driving in a number of ways, but most people can learn to drive or carry on driving with help and advice about modifications to their car.
Buying a new or used car or leasing a car is still very expensive. We have to make do with the car we have. Fortunately, there are many ways to make an old car more user-friendly if your arthritis makes driving difficult. The following are some devices that can allow you to adapt your car to your changing abilities.
The best bet for driving with Arthritis is to rig the car to reduce any pressure on the joint. Here are examples how you can do that:
In most states, buying gas means pumping it yourself. If you can go to a full-service gas pump, you should. If not, a gas cap turner allows you to more easily twist the gas cap open and closed.
Pulling the seat belt over your chest and lap and attaching it by your side is difficult for some people with arthritis. A seat belt handle attaches on to the seat belt, making it easier to pull the belt across your body. It is very helpful for those with limited range of motion in the elbow or shoulder.
Turning the key to start the car can be painful and difficult for hands with arthritis. The key turner fits onto your key and provides a large, wide handle to help turn the key.
This hand-held support handle inserts into your car’s door frame and helps you support yourself as you get in and out of your vehicle. It can also be used in an emergency to cut your seat belt or break a window.
The best and safest way to get into your car is first to sit on the seat and then to swing your legs over. The swivel seat cushion, which is placed on top of your normal seat, allows you to swivel your body around more easily.
There are a couple of modifications you can make to standard rear view and side mirrors to make it easier to see the road behind you without turning around. A panoramic rear view mirror attaches on to a standard rear view mirror but offers a broader picture of the road. Similarly, mirror extenders sit on top of your side mirrors and eliminate “blind spots” that can make changing lanes or merging hazardous.
If your car’s seat does not support your lower (lumbar) back, a curved supportive back pillow can make long drives more comfortable.
It’s common for people with arthritis to experience high levels of fatigue. We explain what fatigue is, what causes it and how you can manage it.
Adapt your schedule to help control your fatigue. How you change your daily schedule depends on your personal needs, and on your decision regarding the best time for you to rest and sleep.
For example, you might consider beginning your daily activities a few hours later than usual. By doing so, you can sleep in and may have an easier time with RA-related morning stiffness.
Another option is to plan a regular afternoon rest time. For some people with RA, a midday nap provides more energy to get through the rest of the day.
Talk with your doctor about how revising your schedule can help with your condition.
Everyone needs to allow time for rest, and when you have RA, getting adequate rest is particularly important. However, it’s still important to be active.
Doing too little can also lead to fatigue, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Do some light exercise every day to help keep your joints in shape and to avoid muscle deconditioning.
This 2013 study shows that physical activity can help people with RA manage fatigue. Regular exercise also can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
One of the best ways to get more energy is to draw on the strength of others. Friends and loved ones can lend you their energy and support when you feel tired.
Asking for help can make it easier for you to accomplish what you need to do. If it’s difficult for you to reach out for help, think about exchanging errands with someone.
Perhaps you can ask someone to do a favor for you when you’re too tired and you can return the favor when you have more energy.
Gardening doesn’t have to be a problem if you have arthritis. We look at how tools, pacing tips and layout can help you to carry on without increasing your pain and fatigue.
These smart strategies can help prevent arthritis symptoms while you’re having fun and getting your hands dirty.
Work with your physician and a physical therapist to make sure you are managing your overall arthritis as effectively as possible throughout the day, not just when you’re in the garden.
Most gardeners have a set pattern that carries them through their gardening chores, but Bouley says this routine usually predates arthritis. If you’re used to spending four hours preparing flower beds, weeding, and pruning, your arthritis symptoms are going to go wild. “People usually have a flare-up after 45 minutes to an hour,” he notes. Try to take regular breaks and switch to another task or simply go get a cold drink and admire your work. Spread your gardening chores out throughout the week instead of plowing through them on a weekend.
You can find tools geared for people with arthritis in almost any gardening catalog. Look for tools awarded the Ease-of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation, which runs independent tests on products designed for people with functional limitations due to arthritis pain. As an alternative, if you don’t want to replace your tools, tightly wrap pipe insulation around the handles to make them thicker and easier to handle.
In some cases, a replacement tool will work wonders for arthritis pain relief. For example, instead of using manual shears to prune and trim, opt for an electric pair so you don’t have to go through the repetitive motion of cutting through tough brush. Be aware that using vibrating tools can be a catch-22, Bouley says. A little vibration can be soothing, but if you work too long with tools that vibrate, you can aggravate arthritis symptoms.
Granted, truly dedicated gardeners don’t want to hire someone else to landscape their garden, but consider getting help with the heavy lifting, such as planting trees or hauling debris, especially rocks.
In the dry heat of Arizona where Bouley practices, dehydration and heat exhaustion can set in very quickly, he points out. Even in the steamy South, you still should be taking in lots of liquids as you work.
Instead of bending and stooping, try to work with support at waist level. This might mean using a small garden bench in situations where you’d otherwise be squatting down or bending low. Stand at a work table for potting plants, for example.
Some gardening benches have knee pads so you can move easily from sitting to kneeling if you need to. Protect your knees any time you have to kneel in the garden.
Avoid repeatedly reaching up high to trim or prune. Use longer-handled tools or an outdoor ladder to safely reach higher.
Your inner 18-year-old wants to work through the pain, but that’s not a good approach. “Pain signals are the only thing our body can do to tell us to stop it,” Bouley says. Arthritis can be painful, but you can make a gardening plan that respects your arthritis symptoms so both you and your lawn look beautiful.
If you have arthritis and you’re thinking about having a baby, you may have some concerns. There are a lot of questions that you need to ask when planning a pregnancy. Please make sure you consult a doctor and ask the following questions:
- Can You Have A Baby?
- What Are The Considerations Before Planning For Pregnancy?
- How Will Arthritis Affect My Chances Of Conception?
- How Will Arthritis Affect My Pregnancy?
- How Will Arthritis Affect My Baby?
- Will Arthritis Affect My Delivery?
- How Will Arthritis Affect Me After My Birth?
CLICK HERE to get a more information.
Arthritis can affect many different aspects of your life, including sex. It boils down to acknowledging the impact and working to ensure that you and your partner can enjoy sex and pleasure in other ways that do not strain the joints too much. You can read more on how Arthritis affects sex here.