How to Live with Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis. Arthritis is a very broad and generic term, and your diagnosis will have to be defined by a competent physician.


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    Seek medical care. The best thing you can do is find a physician you can feel free to talk with honestly. The best physician to look for is called a "rheumatologist."
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    Express yourself. For the pain, find words to express how you would like to feel. Say the word "happy," visualize that feeling, and write a positive statement. Smile; this changes they way you feel.
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    Try to forget about your pain. To compensate for your loss of activity, read a good book and listen to music. The book gets you involved with the characters and the music lifts your spirits, so you can escape your sense of loss.
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    Enjoy life. The best uplift is someone to talk to who can make you laugh. Laughter is music for the soul and the key to wellness. As Bernie Siegel writes in his book about his journey to healing from cancer, he watched funny movies as often as he could each day, and discovered that for every few hours he laughed, he got an hour of relief from pain.
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    Inquire about new treatments. Consult your doctor regularly as research is always making progress against arthritis. Join the nearest arthritis support group to meet other sufferers. Subscribe to Arthritis Today magazine.
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    Keep flexible. Movement is essential. Walk as much as you comfortably can. Learn some stretching exercises. Consider classes for gentle exercise. "If you rest, you rust" is a good reminder for patients with arthritis.
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    Eat to live. Eating a healthy diet with lots of leafy and green veggies will help. Drink lots of water. Also, wild salmon is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
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    Try supplements/medications.
    • Ask your doctor about anti-inflammatory prescription pain reliever drugs, and their side effects.
    • Eat a balanced diet.
    • Glucosamine/Chondroiten is not a painkiller, but it may rebuild the fluid level and cushion the joint over a period of time.
    • Some people find that eating dried cherries helps alleviate arthritis pain, and is especially helpful against gout, which is a form of arthritis that is in the big toe. There is a cherry concentrate extract you can take daily when cherries are out of season; find this in health food stores.
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    Consider self-care. Prior to doing any self care, inquire of your physician as to the type of arthritis you have and what the doctor recommends for at-home treatment.
    • If you have no swelling, but pain, try moist warm heat, such as a warm bath, foot soak, heating pad with a moisture pad insert.
    • If you have swollen, hot joints, try ice instead. Apply an ice pack on the affected joint(s) 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off. This works especially well on knees.
    • If neither method works, then alternate ice and heat leaving 20 minutes between; this is very helpful for spinal pain.
    • Give yourself extra time to function, if it takes a while to get moving, in the mornings for instance.
    • Look into helpful tools, such as a long-armed unit for reaching up high or down low so you don't overextend your joints. Obtain adaptive tools for opening jars, etc. to make life easier.
    • Lose excess weight. This will relieve unnecessary stress on your joints.
    • Have a loved one massage your joints with St John's Wort oil, it is a natural anti inflammatory. Use Arnica oil for massage if you have overused a joint, as this oil helps to relieve strain. Buy these in health stores or from a good herbalist.
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    Pray. It has been shown in double blind studies that people who pray and are prayed for have a happier and more satisfied life. Never lose hope.


  • Avoid exercises or activities that overstretch the joints, such as ballet, gymnastics, and jogging.
  • To prevent joint damage, resist the temptation to perform "party tricks" to show off mobile joints.
  • Exercise your joints. Exercising actually helps your joints to be more flexible and can actually help reduce arthritis pain.
  • Consider alternative remedies with care. Herbal remedies take time, so give them at least a few weeks. They are not like prescription medication in potency so it will take time. Beware those who would take advantage of you and sell you products that are useless against arthritis.


  • Be careful about overdosing on anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain. Watch out for stomach irritation from this drug family.

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Categories: Autoimmune Diseases