1. Health

Living and Coping With Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis can affect your ability to perform usual daily activities. It's important to adjust and adapt as joint symptoms worsen. Be mindful of the physical, mental, and financial impact of living with osteoarthritis. Focus on finding solutions to problems caused by your physical limitations. A positive attitude will also help you cope.
  1. Living With Chronic Osteoarthritis
  2. Continuing to Work
  3. Preparing for Disability
  4. Dealing With Family and Friends
  1. Understanding Your Emotions
  2. Positive Actions
  3. Assistive Devices for Osteoarthritis

Living With Chronic Osteoarthritis

Photo by Carme Balcells (iStockphoto)

Depending on which joint is affected by osteoarthritis, mobility and manual dexterity may be affected. Everyday tasks and chores, which are effortless for most people, may become difficult for a person living with osteoarthritis. It can be frustrating until you resolve to find solutions.

Continuing to Work

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Depending on your job, joints affected by osteoarthritis may make it more difficult to perform your duties. So that you can continue working, try to make adjustments to your work schedule or to the workplace itself. It may be necessary to find another job that is more suitable to your current physical status. If you are standing all day at work and you have a painful knee, consider finding another job which would allow you to sit most or part of the day. The key is to adapt and adjust.

Preparing for Disability

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If you become unable to work, it may be time to apply for disability benefits. You should fully understand the disability benefits offered by your employer as well as Social Security Disability benefits. Do you qualify? How do you begin the process? How is the amount of your benefit determined? It can be a complicated process. Have patience.

Dealing With Family and Friends

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It can be very difficult to get the people who are closest to you to understand your physical limitations. Strive to have good communication and work at turning misunderstanding into understanding. Your friends and family can learn about osteoarthritis by reading books, attending support groups, and from information available online. Most of all, they need to listen and respond to your needs.

Understanding Your Emotions

Photo by Silvia Jansen (iStockphoto)

Living with pain every day can test your emotions. You may feel frustrated, angry, sad, fearful, or even hopeful. On any given day the swirl of emotions may surprise you. Learn to understand why you feel the way you do, and how to respond to those emotions.

Positive Actions

Photo by Joseph Jean Rolland Dubé (iStockphoto)

A positive attitude and taking positive action will help you cope with osteoarthritis. Learn all you can about the disease, get an accurate diagnosis, be compliant with your treatment plan, and surround yourself with supportive people. Whether you are at home, work, or in social situations, make adjustments that will allow you to remain comfortable. Also, correct the risk factors that you can control and do all that is possible to control your pain.

Assistive Devices for Osteoarthritis

Assistive devices, also referred to as adaptive equipment or arthritis gadgets, are products designed specifically to compensate for lost range of motion and disability due to arthritis. There are many assistive devices available -- you just need to know they are out there.

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