What to do so that arthritis pain does not affect your mood

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What to do so that arthritis pain does not affect

Dealing with pain when you suffer from arthritis is only part of the battle. Treatment for this disease must also take into account the emotional impact it causes.

The pain you experience with arthritis can definitely affect your mood. Of course, it’s no surprise that constant aching, throbbing, burning, and stiff joints can wreak havoc on our emotional well-being.

Also, this pain can hinder many activities that bring you joy: you don’t want to exercise anymore, you can’t go out and have fun with friends and family; you may not even be able to perform the simplest chores around the house or attend to your basic needs when your joints are really giving you trouble.

That’s why so many people experience depression and other mental health problems as a result of their arthritis, and why it’s important take care of your emotional health and your physical well-being simultaneously.

The Mind-Body Connection When You Have Arthritis

Grief and depression go hand in hand, and this relationship can feed on itself. People in pain are often depressed because of their pain, and people with depression often experience physical pain and symptoms as a result of poor emotional health.

The rate of depression among people with arthritis varies depending on the type of arthritis. For people with osteoarthritis, depression can be common. People awaiting joint replacement have an overall depression rate of about 12 percent, according to a study in the journal arthritis.

And the rates are 2.5 times higher in people with six or more affected joints than in those with only one joint.

The connection between emotional health and flare-ups of arthritis pain appears to be particularly strong in people with rheumatoid arthritis (AR). Depression and stress are very common with RA, and persistent stress and chronic depression worsen arthritis pain and other symptoms.

In fact, among people with rheumatoid arthritis, depending on the criteria used, the rate of depression can range from about 15 percent to nearly 39 percent, according to an analysis of 72 studies published in the September 2013 issue of Rheumatology .

Seen from another perspective, people with rheumatoid arthritis are 74 percent more likely to develop depression than those without RA.

In a type of inflammatory arthritis such as RA, the pain caused by joint inflammation may appear before the depression, but having depression afterwards may mean that the patient experiences their pain more severely than a patient with similar degrees of inflammation without depression .

Chronic pain clearly affects emotional and physical health, and it’s hard to find relief for one without treating the other. Simply put, chronic pain cannot be treated well without also addressing co-occurring anxiety and depression.

Altered mood is associated with poorer arthritis treatment outcomes among those with chronic pain and also with poorer overall functioning, including greater pain-related disability.

The good news is that the stress management techniques and treatment for depression They can also help you manage your arthritis pain.

Promote emotional health to manage arthritis pain

Sometimes you will feel hopeless or hopeless because of your arthritis. To promote your emotional health, start implementing these recommendations to eliminate stress:

  • Chill out. Sure, that’s easier said than done. TRUE? Well, not if you know how. Make sure you enjoy some quiet time that is completely stress-free: don’t think about things you should be doing, your health, or anything else that might cause anxiety. Instead, focus fully on an activity you enjoy, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
  • Breathe. Practice simple deep breathing techniques. Try to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly, allowing all the muscles in your body to relax. Think calm and peaceful thoughts.
  • Exercise. Moving, even in a limited way, will help your mind and body feel better, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment from getting up and being active. Engaging in almost any type of activity can help reduce pain and depression, and getting the right amount of physical activity can also work wonders when it comes to arthritis.

You will enjoy double benefits: following an exercise routine will increase mental health and reduce chronic pain. Light yoga and Pilates are great ways to stretch your joints while calming your mind. But first get the go-ahead from your rheumatologist to make sure you’re doing activities that are good for you.

  • Soak in a hot bath. This technique is not only excellent for relieving arthritis pain, but also for the spirit. Taking a nice soak in a bubbling tub is relaxing and luxurious, and can lift your spirits and spirits. Increase the relaxation factor by adding some candles and relaxing music during your bath.
  • Speech. Having arthritis is nothing to be ashamed of, and holding back your feelings will only make you feel worse. Talk to friends, family, or members of a support group about what you are experiencing physically and emotionally; sometimes all you need to do is express your feelings to feel better about them.

Ask for help to deal with your emotional problems

Understand that feeling over-stressed or anxious about the state of your health is not uncommon when dealing with a chronic illness. Arthritis not only causes you significant pain, it can also rob you of something vital: your independence.

Not being able to get in your car and do your own shopping, clean your house, go for a walk, or even tie your shoes can be scary, frustrating, and depressing.

It is essential that patients with arthritis and depression receive help both a rheumatologist and a psychiatrist or psychologist for a comprehensive treatment plan. Just as arthritis medications are not one-size-fits-all, neither are the different medications and psychiatric interventions used to treat depression and anxiety.

Mental health management is an important part of an arthritis treatment plan. When all aspects of pain are treated: depression, anxiety, sleep, pain, relationships, the results are optimal.

These are the management techniques that are recommended:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches you how to manage pain and deal with emotional health issues like anxiety.
  • Stress management techniques, including deep breathing and meditation, to help calm stressors that can make pain worse.
  • Biofeedback, a therapy that teaches control of involuntary body processes (such as heart rate) to help manage chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.

Medication may also be an appropriate option. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants, and benzodiazepines can help control pain and, depending on the type of medication, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

Antidepressants, particularly SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and tricyclics, are responsible for altering the perception of pain and help stabilize moods.

Another type of antidepressant, a SNRI (a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor called Effexor (venlafaxine), is also being implemented as a way to control both pain and mood, although Harvard describes the evidence to date as “inconclusive.”

Don’t miss out on help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to talk to your medical team about your emotional well-being. Treating your emotional health is also part of their job, and since this is so often affected by arthritis, they have the expertise you need. Just as your arthritis pain can be treated, can also treat anxiety and depression.

Living with a disease like arthritis can be difficult, but taking the right steps to improve your emotional health It can also help ease your physical pain.

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