Finding Hope in a Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 17 May, 2017
Finding Hope in a Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis
May is Arthritis Awareness Month. It seems appropriate, then, that we take this time to 1) acknowledge what sufferers of arthritis go through on a daily basis and 2) help them to cope. This post will focus specifically on the impact, causes of and treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Daily Challenges of Living with RA

RA is a disorder that results primarily in  inflammation of the joints . That in itself can cause a lot of discomfort, especially when several joints are affected. Inflammation can also lead to redness, swelling and even loss of appetite from heightened immune system activity.

Range of motion often decreases, sometimes leaving its victims unable to do daily tasks the way they normally would. In the severest of cases, joint deformity sometimes occurs.

Many individuals with this form of arthritis agree that mornings often bring the worst pain. However, certain activities can no doubt put strain and pressure on joints, aggravating RA symptoms. That means that each day is fair game for pain. What’s to blame for this unpleasant condition?

The Culprit

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints and tissues of the body. It affects the synovium, a soft tissue that produces synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates the joints and nourishes cartilage, which absorbs the shock and pressure of movement.

It’s no wonder that both cartilage and joints can be worn down and damaged. They need proper lubrication and nourishment to serve their purpose. Without these things they wear down, causing pain and leaving joints unprotected.

Now the question is: What can be done to relieve some of the intense pain that this condition brings?

Coping With RA

A lifelong disease such as this one doesn’t just bring physical challenges. Depending on how you view it, the mental and emotional impact can be even more debilitating than the disease itself at times. It may be disheartening that formerly simple tasks are no longer as easy to do.

However, one of the best things you can do for yourself if you suffer from RA is to  be patient with yourself . Don’t compare between the past and present you; go at the most comfortable pace for you now. Also, don’t trick yourself into believing that you can no longer live a full and happy life. This is simply not true.

What else can help you, though?

Medication:  Anti-inflammatory medications are helpful in controlling the pain.  

Finding Support: There are many people who, despite being diagnosed with RA, are managing quite well. Finding support in them and hearing their stories can help you to maintain a positive attitude.

Knowing Your Limits: Of course, it’s tempting to want to do all the things we used to do and love. However, some of those things may make it harder to live with arthritis. Be attentive and listen to what your body is telling you. Cut down on activities that clearly only make matters worse.

Physical Therapy or Exercise: At the approval or suggestion of your doctor, it may be helpful to attend physical therapy or begin an appropriate exercise routine. This can strengthen the joints and the muscles that surround them.

While rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and challenging to manage, it doesn’t mean that your life is over. You can still function, be productive and be happy! Perhaps one or more of the suggestions above can help you to better cope with your condition.

Recent posts from the Premier Family Medical Blog

Premier Family Medical Blog

By Premier Family Medical 06 Dec, 2017

How would you answer? When is flu season? You might have heard that it begins in December and often lasts through February. While that’s generally true, it’s also true that the beginning and end of the season are unpredictable. In fact, sometimes it can begin in the fall and continue through spring.

No matter the time of year, though, no one wants to end up with the flu. Coughing, chills, body ache and fever really don’t sound pleasant, do they? So what can you do to make sure that you’re spared for one more season? Get vaccinated.
By Premier Family Medical 29 Nov, 2017

Did you know that November is Bladder Health Month ?

Bladder health isn’t something that’s talked about openly or often. Yet, it’s very important. The ultimate goal of Bladder Health Month is to help people speak more openly about it, improve their overall bladder health and raise bladder cancer awareness.

When we think about bladder health it raises the question: What important things do you need to know on this subject of bladder health? Two issues that you should be aware of are first, urinary incontinence and an overactive bladder (OAB), and what are worrisome symptoms that I should talk to my doctor about.

By Premier Family Medical 22 Nov, 2017

Perhaps you’ve just eaten a good meal. Now, though, you’re in pain. There’s a sharp, burning sensation in your chest that won’t seem to go away. In fact, it gets worse when you bend or lie down. What’s wrong? Most people would answer “heartburn.” That’s correct.

It’s interesting that the word heartburn is often used synonymously with the terms acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). However, these terms actually have different meanings.

Acid reflux is a common health condition that ranges in severity. GERD is a long-term, more serious form of that condition. And heartburn is a symptom of both. It’s important to know the difference so that you know what action to take to preserve your health. So when you start to feel “the burn,” is acid reflux to blame or GERD? Further, what can you do about it?

More Posts

Request An Appointment Find A Doctor Find A Location

Ask Us Anything

Do you have a health topic or question you'd like us to blog about?  Send us a message and lets us know what you want to hear from us. 
*All submissions are confidential



Share by: