Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
Everyone living with arthritis has a different experience, although many basic aspects of the disease are common to all. Each person experiences the tenderness, pain, inflammation, and disability differently.
Coping and Support
Your own lifestyle and needs will direct how you adapt to your arthritis symptoms. The professionals on your healthcare team will be able to offer many coping strategies. The following approaches will make it easier:
Take Control of Your Disease
Devise a plan with the help of your physician and healthcare team that includes exercise programs, relaxation, and regular check-ups. Educate yourself so that you understand your own treatment regimen. Research shows that people who are in control of their treatment feel less pain and spend less time at their doctor’s office.
Find Support Groups and Other Resources
You can find support in your community or online. Bring your family and select friends on board. Sharing your own experiences, and hearing about other people coping with the same diagnosis can be helpful, educational, and empowering. Arthritis self-management programs teach people with arthritis about their disease and help them take charge of their own care. An example of a good self-management program is the Arthritis Self-Help Course offered by the Arthritis Foundation.
Take Time to Relax and Enjoy
Take some time to yourself to enjoy your own private activities. These may include reading, listening to music, taking walks. They are all terrific ways to reduce stress and enjoy life.
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012