Can stress affect arthritis?
While everyone will have varying tolerance for stress, constant anxiety, tension, strain and pressure will of course contribute to symptoms you’re already experiencing.
Stress increases muscle tension, which ultimately lead to increased discomfort and pain in people who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. And while you can’t necessarily avoid stress completely, there are things you can do to manage stress and minimize them.
Change your point of view
For a lot of arthritis sufferers, the most common cause of their stress is their condition itself. When you’re unable to enjoy the things you used to because of arthritis pain, it can take its toll on your patience and self-esteem. Certain lifestyle changes, including changes in diet, and relying on other for assistance can also take a mental toll.
All these however don’t necessarily mean that your condition is hopeless. It’s important to try to change negative patterns of thinking to manage stress. Family and friends are more than willing to create a support system that will put your condition and feelings into consideration. In addition, while living with arthritis may be challenging, it’s not impossible. Keep in mind that there are ways and tools to make sure that you are able to manage your condition in the best way possible.
Take a break
Regardless of what’s causing your stress, managing it means taking a step back to pause. Take a vacation if possible, or set aside a few minutes of each day for yourself to clear your head.
Learn your triggers
Understanding what instances and situations cause your stress is one of the best ways to handle it. Recognizing what triggers it means you can consciously try to avoid these situations in the future.
Incorporate exercise in your daily routine
It may seem like living with arthritis limits your physical activities, but exercise can actually lend itself not only to improving your condition, but also create a more long-term impact on your overall well-being.
Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet can help you manage your weight, which has been known help manage the discomfort caused by arthritis. Maintaining healthy weight means putting less pressure on your load-bearing joints, which can significantly alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
Ask for help
This may be difficult for people who are so used to living life independently. But keep in mind that asking for help or using assistive devices are only meant to maintain and improve your quality of life, not make it worse. So don’t shy away from people willing to lend a hand, or from using assistive devices like compression garments or walkers—they will ultimately make your life easier.
It’s important to keep in mind that dealing with chronic pain means you will have to make some long-term lifestyle changes. Not just in terms of managing your physical symptoms, but the mental and emotional toll it will take on your body.
If you want to try using compression sleeves to manage arthritis, contact us today or visit our Amazon link to browse through our entire selection of compression sleeves, braces and straps designed to help manage your joints.