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You’ll play a big role in getting your disease under control and staying as healthy as possible. The term is called self-management. Self-management is about making healthy lifestyle choices and learning to manage the physical and emotional effects of arthritis. It may feel a little like you’re going back to school but take it one step at a time. You’ll need to learn all you can about your disease and build a strong partnership with your doctors.
These self-management habits can help you successfully manage your disease:
Take charge of your treatment plan by keeping track of symptoms, pain levels, medications, and possible side effects so together with your doctor, you can determine what works best for you. Use a health tracker to get started.
You don't want pain to take over your life. Talk to your doctor about the best medications to ease your pain.
Pain and sleep problems can go hand in hand. Pain makes it hard to sleep. Poor sleep can worsen the pain.
It is the last thing you want to do when you're in pain, but exercise will help. It strengthens muscles that support your painful joints, keeps joints mobile, helps you get restful sleep, boosts mood, and helps you lose excess pounds that add stress to joints.
Balance Activity With Rest
Rest is important when your disease is active, and your joints feel painful, swollen, or stiff. Lighten your schedule and ask for help when you need to. Pace yourself throughout your day and take breaks when you can.