Affecting more than 1.3 million Americans, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of the joint disorder behind osteoarthritis. Unlike the wear and tear nature of osteo, rheumatoid arthritis starts as an autoimmune system disorder, but with no known cause and without a cure. If you’re a woman, you’re three times more likely to develop the disorder than men.
Dr. Mihaela Perijoc and the team at North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists are experts in arthritis care, no matter what form of the disease you have, and no matter how far along your RA progresses. Dr. Perijoc uses a functional medicine approach to consider every potential health influence on your arthritis. Here are six tips you can use to downplay the effects of RA, staying one step ahead of the degenerative condition.
One of the constants of life is change, and your life would invariably undergo other changes, even without RA. It’s important to stay realistic about your abilities, as your joints affect your life. Break down challenging jobs into tasks that fit your new capabilities. Prioritize arthritis care, since medications and physical therapy could extend flexibility and endurance. Choosing chores over self care ends up hastening your decline. Accept your RA and adjust to your new normal.
Several prescriptions, each with their own schedules, may be part of your condition management. Consistency often leads to the best results, so you may need to develop a routine, whether it’s a pill box, a smartphone alarm, a combination of both, or a completely new system, whatever it takes to help you standardize your meds. The same holds true for range-of-motion exercises, physical therapy sessions, and appointments at North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists.
You will need help with life after your RA diagnosis, and this comes in two major forms. The first is your RA support team. As well as Dr. Perijoc and her team, this might include physical therapists and other medical professionals. It also includes family members and friends to whom you can redistribute tasks. It’s not always easy, but it is increasingly necessary.
When you run into a roadblock caused by RA, it’s time for a fresh look at the problem. Tough time opening jars? There are tools to add the leverage you need to avoid aggravating joint pain. Gadgets come in all shapes and sizes. You can buy some and make others. Every painful task subcontracted to an assistive device makes your day that much easier.
There’s usually more than one way to perform a task. Altering your approach to body mechanics may help you shift strain away from affected joints. Concentrate on posture and balance and keep moving to avoid stiffness.
You add extra time when you know you’ll hit traffic. Apply the same principle to your life after RA. If it takes you longer to do things, then don’t hold yourself to the way you moved five years ago. Take out travel insurance in case an RA flare up interferes with travel. Try to understand how RA affects your life, and then plan contingencies.
Contact North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists when you need medical attention for rheumatoid arthritis. You can call the office directly or use the appointment scheduling tool on this page. You have treatment options, so don’t wait. Book your consultation now.