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Health Update

Wednesday, June 7 2017

Courtesy of Russell R Van Hemert DC

Living With Arthritis

Learning to live with arthritis is challenging. The goals are obvious: to maintain physical ability by slowing disease progression; to stave off physical limitations and functional limitations as much as possible; to adjust to inevitable changes brought on by the disease; and to accept your new reality.

The impact of arthritis on your life largely depends on disease severity. Those with mild disease will face fewer challenges and difficulties than those with severe arthritis. A moderate to severe disease course may greatly impact your ability to perform usual activities of daily living and it may test your emotions as you move farther from what you once considered to be normalcy. You may need help with certain tasks or to change how you use to do things. At some point, you may need mobility aids or to use assistive devices.

In most cases, the changes take place gradually and you are able to adapt. There are some bigger decisions involved too, such as can you continue working, can and should you have a baby, when should you apply for disability

While formulating a treatment plan to manage the physical aspects is the first priority after you are diagnosed, you will learn over time to cope with how arthritis impacts your life. Healthy habits, including compliance with your treatment plan, eating and sleeping well, avoiding stress, regular exercise, and maintaining your ideal weight, will help you live well with arthritis.

It is also important to remember that arthritis does not only impact the person who has the disease. In some ways, both big and small, your disease impacts family and friends close to you. Its effect can be far reaching.

By Carol Eustice - Reviewed by a board-certified physician. Verywell.com               

Arthritis. At-a-Glance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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