Sometimes arthritis symptoms come and go. You can experience pain, but then inflammation in the joints will subside and you get a little break. Sometimes, however, symptoms can settle in and pain can become a daily part of your life. In this sort of situation, it’s very easy to get discouraged and disheartened. Getting support is key.
Here’s some health news that could make chronic arthritic pain easier to deal with. It’s what doctors call “self-care.” Why should you help yourself? Isn’t there a magic pill that can take away the symptoms? The truth is, arthritis is a complex disease and there’s no one treatment that can shut down its painful symptoms. You need to get support from doctors, along with some hospital-based therapy. But you also need to help yourself. And that’s where a self-care learning program can come in.
Researchers at the Spenshult Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Sweden recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the effects of a self-care program for people with rheumatic diseases in terms of health-related quality of life, empowerment, and self-care ability.
The researchers noted that people with rheumatoid arthritis express a great need for education and support in adapting to the disease, but there’s no evidence of the long-term benefits of this sort of patient education.
They decided to find out for themselves if this sort of self- care approach helps people to feel better. The researchers conducted a clinical trial where the participants were randomly assigned to either an experimental group or a control group. The self-care program was run alongside the standard care the participants received at a rheumatology hospital unit.
The researchers found that the participants in the experimental group had statistically significant stronger empowerment after participation in the self-care promoting problem-based learning program compared with the control group, at the six-month post-intervention. About two-thirds of the participants in the experimental group stated that they had implemented lifestyle changes due to the program.
The research team concluded that the self-care program enabled people with arthritis to improve their empowerment compared with the control group.
Find out about any self-care programs available by asking your doctor’s advice. Many of these programs are now posted online, so you can get quick and easy access to them in the comfort of your own home. Once you feel empowered, instead of being isolated and alone with the disease, you can begin to feel better.
For some great tips on easing joint point without pharmaceutical drugs, read the article The Joint-pain-fighting Secret Inside Apples.