Consider these strategies to manage pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
One in three Americans — more than 100 million people — live with chronic pain, and some 1.5 million adults have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The cost to people living with pain and to society, both in direct healthcare expenses and lost productivity, now exceeds $500 billion per year. These are staggering statistics — and ones that ring true for many of the people with rheumatoid arthritis whom I’ve seen in my nurse practitioner practice.
As a person living with pain, you deserve answers, treatment, and support. Although chronic RA pain is complex, you and your health practitioner can, in many cases, create a plan that improves your quality of life. If you’re experiencing pain or know someone who is, consider these four steps.
1. Listen to Your Own Body
The causes of chronic pain are as widespread as the number of Americans experiencing it and can range from injury to disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. Pain is a warning sign from your body, and you owe it to yourself to get answers. A visit to your healthcare provider is the first step in identifying the root cause of your pain. If you’ve been living with pain for some time, it can take a toll on your psyche as well as your body. Partner with your nurse practitioner or other provider to make a diagnosis and start a treatment plan to address both the physical and emotional aspects of your pain — and the underlying condition.
2. Communicate With Your Provider
In order to treat chronic pain, your healthcare provider needs to know as much as possible about how it’s affecting your daily life. My colleagues at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and I recommend that people who have chronic pain keep a daily health log of their pain symptoms and sleep patterns to share with a care provider. Your health log should provide:
Read Full Article: Strategies to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain | Everyday Health
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