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Arthritis is a loaded word. It comes barrelling into our lives with its own personal set of connotations and stereotypes. Walking sticks and knobbly joints, rattling pill boxes and hospital visits, all of the above, making a diagnosis both confusing and frightening.
Not helped by the fact that arthritis isn’t a single disease but actually an umbrella term for a range of chronic pain conditions, hearing that you have it can come as a bit of a blow.
As we already know, the first step to accepting your chronic pain condition is understanding it, so let’s give it a go.
What is Arthritis?
A quick Google search will bring up multiple definitions for arthritis (further confusion ensues!), but I find the simplest way to put it is like this…
Versus Arthritis defines arthritis as ‘a word used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints.’
When it comes down to it, it really is as simple as that. Of course, there are many different types of arthritis - including the well-known osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – and we could go into the ins and outs of them all. Still, I often find that a simple definition aids the understanding process the most.
Arthritis symptoms can vary and will depend on the type of arthritis you have, but the NHS suggests that the symptoms below are the ones to look out for:
Arthritis can present itself in many ways but understanding your personal symptoms is a great way to begin managing your pain successfully.
We all know this is the important bit and the key to coming to terms with your arthritis diagnosis. We also all know there isn’t a cure. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help manage your condition. Having arthritis myself means I’ve been offered a range of medications and therapies, some of which work brilliantly for me personally (hello, BEMER Therapy – my holy grail!), and some that don’t. The important thing to note here is that there will be something out there that can help – it’s just a case of finding the right treatment for you. And trust me, you will find it. If you’re struggling with your arthritis diagnosis or would simply like to chat about it, please do reach out.
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A Life Without Pain is a Life Without Limits!