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Living with Arthritis

Arthritis causes discomfort, disability and deformity besides having a high cost of treatment and the ultimate early death if left untreated.
Every layman has some suggestions to give to an arthritis patient, which ultimately leads to confusion and misconceptions. The best way to fight the confusion caused by people always eager to lend conflicting advice to patients of Arthritis is to arm you with as much information as possible.

The following ‘tools or tips' of living with arthritis, could show you the way forward. Contact us for any further information.

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Tips for Living Well -

Pain and associated discomfort is one of the main presentations of arthritis. It increases and decreases as the disease flares or subsides due to remission, but never entirely disappear.
The pain is best managed by a combination of therapeutic strategies. Pain medicines alone are never enough to provide non-stop pain relief safely. Medicines are supplemented with many strategies like the following:
  • Improving the joint functions by regular exercise
  • Modifying the daily-living activities so as to prevent stress on the joints
  • Providing joint protection and support
  • Correction of deformities
  • Healthy diet
  • Learning to deal with the emotional stresses of
    the disease
  • Complimentary treatments
Not every strategy will be equally effective for everyone. You need to discover what works for you, combining different approaches to prolong pain relief.
Treatment of Arthritis Ghaziabad, Uttarpradesh

Exercising Regularly -

The commonest excuse not to exercise is the presence of Arthritis. On the contrary it has been proven time and again that appropriate exercise schedule will not only decrease the pain, but improve overall fitness and help in emotional balance and coping with the disease. Before you start you must consult your doctor or physiotherapist and choose an appropriate program for yourself. Everyone will be best benefited by a tailor made schedule as per the disease, damage, deformity and capability.

Managing Daily Activities -

Arthritis can turn even the simplest self grooming tasks like dressing, washing or brushing your hair or teeth, into a real challenge. Feeling tired and drained of energy only makes things worse. Daily activities like preparing a meal, washing clothes or dishes, or other house hold work or professional activities like driving, computing or even writing becomes difficult to perform leading to reduced overall functional capabilities which have been classified by American College of Rheumatology as the following:
  • Functional Grade I: Can perform all activities
  • Functional Grade II: Unable to perform vocational activities
  • Functional Grade III: Unable to perform self grooming or vocational activities
  • Functional Grade IV: Bed ridden
Treatment is aimed at improving the Functional grade by exercise, joint supports or splint, modification of functions like changing the way you do things.
The support team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and your doctor can help you find the way to achieve a fuller life.
Arthritis Treatment Ghaziabad, Uttarpradesh

Providing joint protection and support -

Joint protection by way of how they should be used and joint support by the use of splints lead to:
  • Improved function
  • Reduced pain
  • Prevention of deformity
  • Overcoming the disability
Protection by way of appropriate use of joints can be achieved by the help of advice from the occupational therapist. Splints and aids can be obtained by the help of the orthotist. They can provide walking supports like sticks and walkers, braces like knee and wrist braces, appropriate footwear with insoles, arch supports and metatarsal bars, etc.

Correction of deformities -

After the disease has been stopped or remission sets in, dealing with deformities can be undertaken in order to repair the damage and overcome disability. Many surgical and non-surgical options may be considered.
The non-surgical options like Intra-articular procedures can be chosen amongst the following:
  • Intra-articular injections of glucocorticoids
  • Intra-articular Tidal leavage
  • Visco-elastic supplements
  • Arthroscopic procedures like Synovectomy for debulking the joint and Tidal leavage
  • Botulinum toxin injections for pain
The appropriate modality has to be chosen as per the joint condition. The results vary in the hands of different experts. The above procedures are offered by Interventional Rheumatologists and Surgical specialists.
Surgical options for the joint often result in good functional recovery and improved quality of life. 'Surgery isn't an admission of defeat,' says Dr. David E. Hastings, Head of Orthopedic Surgery at Toronto's former Wellesley Hospital, 'nor is it a last resort when all else fails.' The aim is to relieve pain and restore functions, but one should remember that treatment for disease modification should not be stopped before or after surgery. The many options available are:
  • Deformity correction by tendon transplant and other soft tissue procedures
  • Joint fixation
  • Open synovectomy
  • Joint replacement

Dealing with Emotions -

Dealing with the fact that your disease is probably a life long situation is emotionally highly taxing, and can lead to severe depression. The disease could lead to severe socio-economical losses like family unrest, reduced or loss of performance at work or the loss of job or chance of promotion, inability to enjoy sports or recreation leading to feeling of deprivation and helplessness.
Dealing with these emotional upsets is best done by first accepting the fact that you have a problem and then learning how to deal with them in a real and lasting way. It helps to know that many made this journey and found there emotional balance.

Healthy diet -

In the olden days many diet restrictions were heaped upon the patients resulting in malnutrition and failure of treatment. There habits still exist and the taboos are difficult to overcome. Anyone meeting an arthritis patient will suggest some diet restriction.
The evidence today is that there is no specific diet restriction in most arthritis, except the metabolic diseases. Eating Healthy food means ample proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Fat restriction with avoidance of spices and unhygienic food is recommended.

Complementary Therapies -

There are a number of alternative or complementary therapies that may offer real benefits to some people with arthritis, and increasingly these days, doctors and scientists are accepting that some of these previously dismissed therapies merit investigation.

Some of these therapies in fact - such as acupuncture - have been embraced by a good number of physicians and are being used widely by patients. Other therapies like acupressure, aroma therapy, magnet-therapy and many more do not do anything to the disease process, but help in relieving pain and overcoming disability. The results, however, are highly individual, and not all complementary therapies have equal validity. Before you try anything outside your treatment plan, learn what you can about these things. Then talk to your doctor about them.