Category Archives: Symptom Management

emotions and joint pain connection

Can Adjusting Your Attitude Ease Joint Pain?

Happy thoughts aren’t what come to mind when pain and stiffness are dragging you down, but forcing them into focus may help ease your pain.

Optimism counteracts sadness and fear – feelings that can heighten pain perception, says Burel Goodin, PhD, a psychologist and anesthesiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who researches the link between pain and optimism. Because optimists believe their situations can improve, they are more likely to eat healthfully, exercise regularly and take other actions that lead to better health and less pain, he says.

Not feeling very upbeat? Take these steps to act your way to optimism.

Continue reading Can Adjusting Your Attitude Ease Joint Pain?

Inflammation fighting fruit

Choosing the Freshest Fruit to Fight Inflammation

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help you fight the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Fruit is low in fat, sodium and calories. It can help you maintain a healthy weight – thereby reducing the pressure on your joints — and it’s rich in nutrients that help fight inflammation. Plus, it tastes great.

Here are tips for finding the freshest fruit and storage tips to increase shelf life.
Continue reading Choosing the Freshest Fruit to Fight Inflammation

Arthritis Friendly Freezer Meals

Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

When you are tired and achy from your arthritis, a hot, nutritious meal at the end of the day may be just what you need – but preparing it can create even more pain and exhaustion.

Instead of toiling to prepare a meal full of anti-inflammatory foods every night, registered dietitian Sara Haas, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends making meals in bulk and freezing them. At the end of a long day, all you have to do is reheat and serve.

Freezing meals, Haas says, “Is a great way to get balanced, more healthful meals in the comfort of your home.”
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

Beating Arthritis Burnout

Battling Arthritis Burnout

Worn out from dealing with your disease? Never-ending appointments, medication refills, insurance paperwork, and diet and exercise worries can take a toll. Living with a chronic disease can be exhausting, even without the fatigue that comes with being ill.

Chronically ill people often feel burdened and burned out from coping with pain and illness while also managing their treatment and daily work-life demands, says Mary Anderson, a specialist in health psychology at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston.
Continue reading Battling Arthritis Burnout

Aging and Arthritis Pain

Aging and Arthritis Pain: Should Treatment Plans Change as We Age?

Pain and aging—it’s an unfortunate fact of life. As we increase in age, so does our risk for painful health conditions. Research also suggests the experience of pain changes as we age; the treatments for it must often change as well.

More Painful Problems

“As we get older we are more likely to experience pain because of the kinds of health problems that go with getting older,” says Patricia A. Parmelee, PhD, director of the Alabama Research Institute on Aging at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. “There are a number of disorders linked with the aging body that are painful,” she says. Of these, one of the most common is osteoarthritis (OA).

The likelihood of developing arthritis increases with age. The CDC reports that 7% of people between the ages of 18 and 44 say they have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Among people 65 and older, that number is 50%.
Continue reading Aging and Arthritis Pain: Should Treatment Plans Change as We Age?