When you find out that you have osteoarthritis, you may be scared and worried about how it may change your life, work, and relationships.
It's hard to know how fast your arthritis may progress. Your symptoms may come and go, stay the same, or get worse over time. Some days you may feel fine and be able to do the things you need—and want—to do with little pain. Other days the pain may be too much for you to do simple tasks like getting dressed or brushing your teeth.
At times you may feel overwhelmed, tired, and angry. You may be afraid that you might become disabled and not be able to care for yourself. You may even wonder if you'll be able to continue to work. These feelings are normal. Most people who have arthritis feel this way at one time or another.
Some people with arthritis also feel down or depressed. They may describe this as feeling "depressed," "unhappy," "short-tempered," "blue," or "down in the dumps." If you feel like this most of the time, tell your doctor. Treating these symptoms may help you feel better and make it easier for you to do your daily tasks.
Even though living with arthritis can be stressful, the good news is that you can do some simple things to feel better and keep the joy in your life and relationships.
If your arthritis makes it hard for you to do your job, talk to your boss about what changes you can make to your schedule and things you can do to modify your work area.
You might ask if:
Adopting a "good-health attitude" and healthy habits, such as eating a balanced diet, staying at a healthy weight, and getting enough sleep, will make you feel better and help you stay active.
When you think in a positive way, you may be more able to:
One Woman's Story:
"There are so many things in our life that we can control. And there are big things that we can't control. But if we assume control of the things that we can, at least we feel like we're doing something to make our lives better."—Bev
If a family member or friend is helping to care for you, be sure to let that person know how grateful you are for the help.
Keep in mind that your caregiver's life may be changing along with yours. And he or she may be dealing with some of the same emotions as you are. Talking is a great way for each of you to share your concerns and support for each other.
|American Occupational Therapy Association|
|4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220|
|Bethesda, MD 20824-1220|
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is the nationally recognized professional association of approximately 35,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students of occupational therapy. AOTA's mission is to advance the quality, availability, use, and support of occupational therapy through standard-setting, advocacy, education, and research on behalf of its members and the public.
|P.O. Box 7669|
|Atlanta, GA 30357|
The Arthritis Foundation provides grants to help find a cure, prevention methods, and better treatment options for arthritis. It also provides a large number of community-based services nationwide to make living with arthritis easier, including self-help courses; water- and land-based exercise classes; support groups; home study groups; instructional videotapes; public forums; free educational brochures and booklets; the national, bimonthly consumer magazine Arthritis Today; and continuing education courses and publications for health professionals.
|National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health|
|1 AMS Circle|
|Bethesda, MD 20892-3675|
|Phone:||1-877-22-NIAMS (1-877-226-4267) toll-free|
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is a governmental institute that serves the public and health professionals by providing information, locating other information sources, and participating in a national federal database of health information. NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases and supports the training of scientists to carry out this research.
The NIAMS website provides health information referrals to the NIAMS Clearinghouse, which has information packages about diseases.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology|
|Last Revised||April 9, 2013|
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