Arthritis is a general term for many conditions characterized by joint deterioration, pain, and other problems. There are many types of arthritis, and how you deal with your arthritis depends on the type you have.
Talk to Your Doctor
As with any chronic health condition, it’s crucial that you talk to your doctor. Your doctor will recommend tests that can help determine what type of arthritis you have so you can learn whether you need to take special medication to protect yourself from further damage or just to deal with symptoms.
Your doctor will also give you detailed recommendations that are specific to your arthritis.
Listen to Your Body
Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. When your joints hurt from arthritis, it’s often because there is ongoing damage in the joint. To reduce or avoid damage, you should limit activities that cause you pain, and learn to do things in ways that reduce the pain you feel.
Give yourself license to rest more if necessary. Ask for help with tasks you typically took on by yourself. Look for hobbies and recreation that don’t stress your body.
Pay Attention to Your Mood
Depression is not uncommon in arthritis sufferers. As you watch the changes in your body and find yourself unable to do the things you used to take pride in, it’s natural to feel some sadness.
Talking to friends and family honestly about your feelings can help. Enlist them in your new hobbies or activities. Sadness is less likely to develop into depression if you have quality engagement with others.
If your sadness persists, becomes a daily occurrence, or is accompanied by thoughts of self-harm, talk to your doctor.