BONE & JOINT DISORDERS (ARTHRITIS)
HOW TO MANAGE ARTHRITIS
Judicious management and effective treatment can help you live well with arthritis. Do not delay and immediately talk to your doctor about the medications, lifestyle changes that can help you improve the quality of your life.
The goals of treatment are to :
- Relieve pain
- Maintain joint function
- Prevent joint deformity
- Prevent complications
- Educate the patient
Management of Arthritis
Active participation of the patient in managing arthritis is a must.This will prevent you from depending on others and help you to take charge of your life. The management includes:
I. Learning about Arthritis
- Be aware of your disease : Awareness to the disease and its management can prevent deformities and other complications. Learn to recognize the sign and symptoms of arthritis and record them in a diary to see the progress of disease. Try to identify the aggravating and ameliorating factors of your disease and discuss them with your doctor.
- Immediately meet your doctor if :
- Arthritis is seriously affecting the quality of your life.
- Symptoms are not relieved even after treatment
- Your joint pains wakes you up at night.
- Your pain is so severe that you can walk only a short distance
- Your X-rays show significant damage in the joint.
II. Monitoring of Arthritis
Monitoring of the disease from time to time is a must to know the progress of disease. It can be done with the help Blood tests and X-ray.
III. Understand and take your medicines as advised by your doctor.
IV. Control body weight
People who are 20% or more over their normal bodyweight tend to have more problem with their arthritis. Excess bodyweight puts an extra strain on the weight bearing joints (like knee, legs, feet and spine) and increases the pain.
V. Heat and cold therapy
- Moist heat (in form of hot bath, warm towels etc. can be used at home for 15-20 minutes. It helps to reduce pain and swelling. But it should not be used if the joint is acutely inflamed.
- Cold therapy (in form of ice packs etc.) can be applied to the sore areas for 10-15 minutes to reduce pain and swelling. This therapy is often used for acutely inflamed joints.
VI. Avoid stress and fatigue
Its important to be free from stress and keep a positive attitude. Keep away from stress by :
- Regular exercising
- Using relaxing techniques
- Take adequate rest
- Planning your work