The anxiety and pain of the injections shouldn’t prevent you from managing your arthritis and protecting your quality of life. Use these tips to ease the pain and stress of self-injections.
Try to Relax
If you are nervous about administering your injection, your muscles will tense up and increase the pain. Try to distract yourself by talking to someone while injecting or listening to soothing music. Sitting rather than standing can also help to relax your muscles.
Numb Your Skin
Apply an ice pack to the injection site about 15 minutes before you plan to administer your medication. Numbing the skin will temporarily reduce pain and serve as another distraction since your skin will be very cold! Your doctor can also prescribe numbing cream.
Warm Up Your Medication
Most arthritis injectables must be stored in a refrigerator. It’s recommended to allow them to reach room temperature, typically about 20 to 30 minutes, before administration. This can reduce the sting of self-injections. Never microwave or boil your medications to heat them up.
Rotate Your Injection Site
Arthritis medications can be administered in multiple places. The most common sites are the abdomen and front of the thigh. Try to switch your site location to prevent additional pain.
After the injection, you should rub or massage the site. A gentle massage helps to loosen the muscles and disperse the medication. You can also use a warm or cold compress on the site while massaging for pain relief.
September is Pain Awareness Month, and you can help advance a national conversation about the true pain – physical and emotional – that arthritis causes. Read our open letter to America, check out our pain toolkit and take our pain quiz. And help make arthritis and its consequences more visible so it’s not a forgotten epidemic.