7 Things To Know When You're Recently Diagnosed With Osteoarthritis – Flexiseq

7 Things To Know When You're Recently Diagnosed With Osteoarthritis

Even if you’ve been living with joint pain for some time, receiving a diagnosis of osteoarthritis can still be overwhelming and scary: suddenly, you’re faced with the challenge of managing a chronic condition that will impact your day-to-day life.

But don’t worry, because there are a number of things you can do to set yourself on the right path, taking steps to gain a better understanding of osteoarthritis and significantly improve your quality of life. So here are the key things to be aware of once you’ve received an osteoarthritis diagnosis:

1. The mechanics of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is brought about by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the soft tissue that cushions your joints, and without it your bones begin to rub against each other as you move, which can lead to pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. The condition commonly affects older adults, but can also be caused by injury or overuse of certain joints.

Taking the time to read up on and understand osteoarthritis and how it progresses arms you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about managing your pain - both in terms of what you can do to improve it, and what you shouldn’t do in order to avoid making it worse.

The impact of osteoarthritis your daily life

Osteoarthritis can take a considerable toll on your day-to-day activities, making tasks that were once routine or straightforward more difficult due to the pain and stiffness in affected joints.

Simple tasks such as walking, climbing the stairs, lifting a heavy frying pan or even getting out of bed in the morning may start to feel daunting and unmanageable. However, being aware of these potential challenges, the types of movement you find difficult and the treatments, tools and strategies you can use to alleviate pain are all part and parcel of adapting your lifestyle and routines to better manage your osteoarthritis.

Pain Management Strategies

One of the most important aspects of living with osteoarthritis is finding effective ways to manage your pain - and there are a whole host of methods for doing so, ranging from medication or drug-free pain relief treatments like FlexiSEQ to maintaining a healthy diet and managing your weight.

Managing your pain isn’t just about treatment; it’s about keeping moving with regular exercise, sharing tips for strategies that have helped within your arthritis support group, or finding out about practical products that have been specifically designed to help people with the kind of pain you suffer from. In short, ‘pain management strategies’ covers a huge variety of methods for coping with arthritis, and they can come just as easily from a friend or support group as they can from your healthcare provider.

Healthcare professionals are there to support you

Any treatment plan for managing your osteoarthritis is going to be informed by discussions and examinations carried out by your healthcare providers. While monitoring the progression of your osteoarthritis, your healthcare provider can offer guidance on treatment options and answer any concerns or questions you might have. Ensuring that you are in frequent contact with the relevant healthcare professionals means you are maximising access to the care and expertise you need in order to manage your osteoarthritis effectively.

It’s better to let friends and family know

Talking to those closest to you about your osteoarthritis diagnosis will help them better understand your condition and provide the support you need. Help your family, friends and coworkers help you by informing them about what osteoarthritis is, how it impacts you and your treatment strategies. Being open about what you’re experiencing gives others the chance to be empathetic and understanding, enabling them to offer meaningful support and make accommodations when necessary.

You’re not alone

Making contact with other people who have osteoarthritis and know what you’re going through can be a tremendously beneficial experience. There are a number of ways you can connect with others, whether that be through osteoarthritis support groups, online forums or healthcare organisations; all of these provide the opportunity to share experiences, exchange tips and offer mutual support. Hearing from others who have felt your pain can provide comfort and validation - and being there for others yourself can also help boost your own mental wellbeing.

Look after your mind as well as your body

Living with a chronic condition like osteoarthritis can have an adverse effect on your mental health, and it’s important to remember that it’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions that might include sadness, frustration and anger.

Never force yourself to suffer in silence; it’s better to seek support from friends, family or a mental health professional, because navigating your feelings and developing healthy coping strategies is generally easier with the help of an outside perspective. Above all, remember that reaching out for help or support is always a sign of strength, and never a sign of weakness.

What did you do when you found out you had osteoarthritis - or what do you wish you had done differently? Let us know on Facebook.


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