Coming down with a cold or a flu means patients can expect to feel better at some point. When dealing with a chronic disease such as arthritis, there is often no end in sight for relief. But just because there is no cure for arthritis does not mean it should take over a patient’s life. At The Pain Center of Arizona, arthritis is one of the most common chronic pain conditions that our pain management specialists treat.
For patients who are suffering from arthritis, pain and fatigue may become a frequent part of the day. Physical changes from the disease process may also affect one’s appearance. These changes can diminish positive self-image. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you may prefer isolation and withdraw from friends and social activities.
Chronic illness also can influence how patients function at work. Morning stiffness, decreased range of motion, and other physical limitations may require modified work activities and environment. Decreased ability to work can lead to financial difficulties. For the homemaker, a specific task may take much longer to accomplish. Patients may need the help of their spouse, a relative or a home health care provider. As one’s life changes, they may feel a loss of control and become anxious about the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
Stress is another aspect. Dealing with arthritis can make stress build and influence how one feel’s about life. Prolonged stress can lead to frustration, anger, hopelessness, and, at times, depression. But the person with the illness is not the only one affected. Family members are also influenced by the changes in the health of a loved one.
Patients who feel less able to cope with their arthritis should seek help as soon as possible. Taking this kind of action early will enable them to understand and deal with the many effects of a chronic illness. Learning to manage stress will help them maintain a positive physical, emotional, and spiritual outlook on life.
A provider of mental health care can design a treatment plan to meet a patient’s specific needs. Strategies can be designed to help regain a sense of control over life and even improve quality of life.
There are many types of help available for people with chronic illnesses, such as support groups and individual counseling. Support groups provide an environment where one can learn new ways of coping with their illness. Sometimes people have problems that are better addressed in a one-on-one atmosphere. By participating in individual counseling, patients may be able to express sensitive or private feelings they have about their illness and its impact on their lifestyle and relationships.
Again, patients should always seek help as soon as they feel less able to cope. Talk to a mental health professional. He or she can design a treatment plan to meet specific needs. Strategies can be designed to help patients regain a sense of control. At times, if depression is present, medications other than those treating the arthritis may be ordered to help lift the mood.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa, Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.