Tips from Dr. Arthritis: Five Habits That Can Help You Manage Chronic Pain Better
People who have to deal with chronic pain know that successfully managing your condition takes a lot more than simply following your doctor’s orders. While important, there are other things that you can do to ensure that you manage your arthritis efficiently.
1. Make it a point to learn more about your condition
Knowledge is power. Keeping yourself informed about the latest advancements, studies, research, exercise regimens and treatment options available to you is important if you want to take control of your disease.
This constant pursuit to learn means you’ll keep yourself abreast on the latest developments about your condition and helps give you perspective that continuous research in this field should ultimately lead to better treatment and management options.
2. Tune in to your emotions
Because of how common arthritis actually is, people tend to forget that it is a condition that’s debilitating and devastating to sufferers. Anyone who has to deal with chronic pain has to face the new limitations that arthritis now imposes on their body. The constant pain can range from uncomfortable to incapacitating. In some cases, disfigurement is an inevitably reality.
All things considered, it’s easy to see how dealing with chronic pain can prove to be very taxing on your emotions and psyche. In fact, it actually raises your chances of depression. This is why it’s important to keep yourself in tune with your emotions.
3. Keep your doctor in the loop
Make sure that you and a trusted physician are able to make informed decisions about your condition together. Whether it’s a new treatment you want to try out, a new exercise regimen you want to start, or even just general counseling about your condition, it’s important to keep the communication lines open between yourself and your doctor.
4. Stay motivated
The emotional and psychological impact of being diagnosed and having to deal with chronic pain is understandably major. But successfully managing your condition means you have to try to actively do something about it. Start by learning about what you can and can’t do. What about your lifestyle and habits have to changed or adjusted. Make a plan with your doctor and map out your next steps. Open up to family and friends about the kind of changes you have to make in terms of diet, exercise, medication and activities.
5. Invest in yourself
As hard as It might seem, you don’t actually have to completely give up the life you used to lead before you were diagnosed. But realistically, you have may have to tweak it to accommodate your condition. This could entail taking it slow at first, making significant lifestyle changes, making use of aids and tools to help you with your condition, and setting new, more realistic goals for yourself.
Building resilience, physically, emotionally and psychologically is key to helping you cope with arthritis and chronic pain. Start by taking these 5 actionable steps and instilling them in your daily life.
Of course, if you have more to add, we’d love to hear all about it—so feel free to leave a comment below.