12 Steps to Coping with Arthritis

iEyeNews—March 9, 2015

Years ago, in Morocco to write a travel story, I rode my first camel. Who knew that those stubborn, one-humped Dromedaries don’t simply sit to let you dismount—they lunge forward. And so, alas, did I, landing squarely on my right hip. Since it bothered me only intermittently, I stupidly didn’t get it checked out— for two decades. And just recently, much to my dismay, it was confirmed that osteoarthritis (OA) had set into the joint. So suffice it to say that I am writing this column from a personal—albeit painful—perspective.

Although Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease, is by far more serious, OA can be progressive and degenerative, characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage associated with risk factors such as obesity, a history of joint injuries and unusual physical stress.

It can also come from everyday wear and tear of the knees, hips, hands, shoulders and spine, which is, alas, associated with getting older. The joints, without the healthy cushion of shock-absorbing cartilage that covers the bones, begin to grind against one another, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.

While there is no cure to date, there are many things you can do about it—especially if you have osteoarthritis.

That said, here are 12 suggestions to help you go about your daily activities with ease, feeling even Better Than Before.

Emotional Health

Shift your focus. Certainly a chronic condition can compromise your everyday life, and it’s not unusual to long for the “old you.” But focusing on your pain can cause it to become even more unbearable. “Feelings of sadness and anger may precede recognition of the kinds of burdens your arthritis has placed on your work function and/or outlook on life,” says Roberta Horton, director of the department of social work programs at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.

She suggests trying to find ways to communicate your concerns with others who can offer support and help with problem solving so that you feel less alone. If these feelings persist, you may want to consider professional counseling.



Find a Physician

Conditions & Treatments

adult child
Select A Body Part

Complete Listing »

Media Contacts

Tracy Hickenbottom
Monique Irons


Social Media Contacts

Andrew Worob
Otis Gamboa