The degree to which rheumatoid arthritis
affects your daily activities depends in part on how well you cope with the disease. Physical and occupational therapists can help you devise strategies to cope with specific limitations you may experience as the result of weakness or pain. Here are some general suggestions to help you cope:Keep a positive attitude
. With your doctor, make a plan for managing your arthritis
. This will help you feel in charge of your disease. Studies show that people who take control of their treatment and actively manage their arthritis
experience less pain and make fewer visits to the doctor. Use assistive devices
. A painful knee may need a brace for support. You might also want to use a cane to take some of the stress
off the joint
as you walk. Use the cane in the hand opposite the affected joint. If your hands are affected, various helpful tools and gadgets are available to help you maintain an active lifestyle. Contact your pharmacy or doctor for information on ordering items that may help you the most.
Know your limits. Rest when you're tired. Arthritis
can make you prone to fatigue and muscle weakness. A rest or short nap that doesn't interfere with nighttime sleep
Avoid grasping actions that strain your finger joints. Instead of using a clutch purse, for example, select one with a shoulder strap. Use hot water to loosen a jar lid and pressure from your palm to open it, or use a jar opener. Don't twist or use your joints forcefully.
Spread the weight of an object over several joints. For instance, use both hands to lift a heavy pan.
Take a break. Periodically relax and stretch. Maintain good posture
. Poor posture causes uneven weight distribution and may strain ligaments and muscles. The easiest way to improve your posture is by walking
. Some people find that swimming also helps improve their posture. Use your strongest muscles and favor large joints
. Don't push open a heavy glass door. Lean into it. To pick up an object, bend your knees and squat while keeping your back straight.FAQs on ArthritisRelated ArticlesTypes of arthritisChemicals in 'hot' Chili Peppers Confirmed to be a Cause ofExercising Your Way to Arthritis ReliefWhat is arthritisWhat causes rheumatoid arthritis?Coping skills for rheumatoid arthritisSelf-care for rheumatoid arthritishttp://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/DS/00020.html
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