At the start of a new year, many of us feel the urge to take control of our lives in one way or another. If you suffer from chronic arthritis you may have more reasons than most to want to act.
The pain of arthritis and loss of mobility can impact your life in many different ways. One of the most obvious is that it can stop you from doing the things you want to do, such as walking or sports. It may make it harder to work and make you feel less inclined to socialise. It may even lead to depression.
It is easy to feel helpless if you have a chronic condition like arthritis, however, there are things you can do to take control of your life. One of the things we hear most often as consultants is “I wish I’d done something sooner” so whether or not you are considering surgery, now is the perfect time to act.
Here are our top five suggestions to better cope with your symptoms:
1. Adapt your life
Being diagnosed with arthritis doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold but you may need to adapt your lifestyle to cope with your symptoms. Small changes to your routine, diet, exercise or stress levels can make a difference.
2. Get informed
It is helpful to understand your condition and what sort of things exacerbate or relieve your symptoms. There are some helpful online resources, such as The Arthritis Foundation, and you may also benefit from talking to others with the condition.
3. Be aware of how you’re feeling
There is an established link between chronic conditions like arthritis and depression. It is important to continue to do as many of the things that you enjoy as you can.
If you start to experience sleep problems, constant tiredness, loss of appetite, or troubling thoughts, talk to your GP, or specialist orthopaedic consultant.
4. Prioritise your wellbeing
Eating healthily, taking regular exercise, getting enough sleep and finding ways to reduce stress can all help you to feel better. It is important to take good care of your health and wellbeing and not to develop unhealthy habits.
5. Don’t put off surgery
If all other options have failed, then it may be time to consider your surgical options. Although a decision not to be taken hastily, joint replacement surgery has become a routine procedure that could transform your life.
There is no need to soldier on with severe arthritic pain. Talk to your doctor about the options for surgical or other procedures. This is what some of our patients said following surgery:
“Carrothers Orthopaedics carried out my first total hip replacement 25 weeks ago and my second eight weeks ago. The quality of my life has improved immeasurably as a result of these two operations and I feel fortunate to have been referred to Carrothers Orthopaedics who, together with his anesthetist Dr Mahroof, have provided me with an exceptional level of care and service. The pain and mobility issues that I have suffered from for over 10 years have all but disappeared – I feel transformed! I believe that my health has been in the best possible hands throughout the entire process from referral through to ongoing review.”
“Carrothers Orthopaedics made sure that at every stage I was fully informed which has helped to ensure that I can recover to a level as near as possible to when I was fully fit.”