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Posts Tagged ‘rheumatoid arthritis’

Rheumatoid Arthritis Stinks- 4 Facts about Depression and Pain

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011



Are you depressed about pain in the back, shoulders and knees?  Rheumatoid arthritis triggers depression, as swollen, aching joints limit free movement. Learn why arthritis pain makes you sadder…


Rheumatoid arthritis pain and depression

With rheumatoid arthritis, sufferers experience severe muscle pain, inflamed hips, joint pain, and chronic soreness.

Even after a battery of arthritis treatments and knee surgeries, the debilitating pain persists, relentlessly.

As a result, an overwhelming number of chronic pain patients also encounter deep depression.

Some of their explanations for the link between arthritis and depression might surprise you…and motivate you into seeking better pain management.


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammatory pain in the joints, in addition to producing redness and swelling in the surrounding muscular area and other parts of the body.

Also called rheumatic disease, RA occurs when antibodies in the body attack your immune system.

RA is a degenerative disease that may last for years, and although pain symptoms don’t always surface, the potential for permanent damage of the joints is pervasive.

Fact #1: Depression often accompanies chronic pain illness

According to Elizabeth Lin, MD, a family practice doctor and scientific researcher for the Group Health Research Institute, not only does chronic pain invite depression- the symptoms of depression make the pain even harder to tolerate.

“It has been found to lower the threshold of how we tolerate pain — how easily pain registers in our brain.”

Fact #2: Depression increases your chances of dying from rheumatoid arthritis.

According to a study, conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, chronic depression accounted for twice as many deaths during the research period than rheumatoid arthritis alone.

Says Michael Clark, M.D., of John Hopkins Medicine, “Depression is not simply a comorbid condition, but interacts with chronic pain to increase morbidity and mortality.”

Fact #3: Cognitive behavioral therapy can alleviate depression

Several studies that focused on management of depression in rheumatoid arthritis concluded that seeking counseling is an effective way to learn coping mechanisms, reduce the amount of arthritis flare-ups, and fight depression.

Fact #4: Light exercise alleviates arthritis pain and depression at the same time.

Health experts advise anybody suffering from progressive diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis to follow a low-impact workout regimen.  Swimming, tai chi, yoga, and Pilates not only soothe aching muscles and joints, but also relieve stress, inducing feelings of  peace and well-being.

Pain patients who include at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and stretching report feeling more relaxed, less pained, and demonstrate a higher quality of life than arthritis sufferers who remain inactive.


Related reading:

Back Pain Exercises and Fibromyalgia- the Do’s and Don’ts

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Management of depression in rheumatoid arthritis

Coping with Depression, Menopause, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

11 Rheumatoid Arthritis and Depression Facts

Managing Chronic Pain, Depression & Antidepressants


Ed Yourdon, jessiejacobson, Borya

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011



Don’t put up with pain- Get a grip! Here are some handy household gadgets that help chronic pain sufferers.


Whether you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or another kind of chronic pain, you appreciate all the help you can get- anything to make life’s daily chores a bit easier on your aching knuckles, neck, and back.  Some of life’s greatest treasures are everyday gadgets that help us open jars, cans, and bottles without pain.  Does reaching over your head to grab a can of tomatoes make you whimper with pain?  We’ve got a solution for that, along with many other useful pain management tools.

Below are 15 household tools which will help you get the job done without pain:

#1  Airobic Quill Mouse

Stop clenching your computer mouse in an unnatural position.  The Airobic Quill mouse is ergonomically designed to reduce tension, ease pain, and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.  $87.49. Free shipping.  http://www.thehumansolution.com

#2  Ergonomic Arm Support

Bad posture is one of the greatest sources of chronic pain.  The Ergonomic Arm Support keeps your arm in a relaxed position while clicking away on the internet and attaches easily to your office chair.  $34.95.  http://www.ergo-items.com

#3 PikStik Pro – Pik Stik All Purpose Reach/Grabber 48″ Orange

This snappy grabby will help you reach any object in sight…and a few that are out of sight!  Use it to snag packaged goods off the grocery shelf, to retrieve dropped items, or to root around an overhead kitchen cabinet. Excellent for individuals undergoing chronic pain treatment.  $19.86.  http://www.egeneralmedical.com

#4 Oxo Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

Just as the name implies, this rubber-handled can opener let you get a good grip for easier handling.  The Oxo Smooth Edge can opener leaves a nice smooth edge while cutting, so you won’t have to worry about nicking your fingers later.  All-in-all, it’s a pain-free kitchen device!  $19.99.  http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com

#5 Black & Decker Lids-Off Jar Opener

Amazon customers rave over the way the Black & Decker Lids-Off Jar Opener has taken the strain and effort out of opening stubborn jar covers.  With the simple ease of pressing a button you can open even the heaviest of pickle jars up to 4 ½ “diameter and 8” in height.  $29.99.  http://www.amazon.com/

#6 Easi-Twist Jar Opener

Arthritis and chronic pain sufferers can easily open a variety of different-sized jars with this rubber-lined tool.  Available in blue or black.  $6.99.  http://www.containerstore.com

#7 Jokari 3 in 1 Beverage Opener

Quickly and painlessly, snap open a can of soda.  Even 2-liter bottles of soda and glass beer bottles are not match for the Jokari 3 in 1 opener.  For $3.99, you can get one for every room of the house. http://www.organize.com

#8 Lid Punch™

Sometimes, getting a jar open is just a matter of releasing the vacuum seal.  This little device makes a tiny, pinpoint hole in the jar lid, thus releasing pressure and allowing you to open it smoothly.  Included are magnetic hole stoppers.  $14.99.  http://www.harrietcarter.com

#9 Tweezerman Expert Touch Gel Grip Tweezer

Tweezerman is the leading manufacturer of quality personal care implements, including their well-loved precision tweezers.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they developed this wide-handled soft-grip set of tweezers for arthritic individuals and others with chronic pain syndrome.  $22.00.  http://www.tweezerman.com

#10 Easy-Grip Fingernail Clippers

The wide ergonomically designed handles make it easier for arthritis pain sufferers to utilize the Easy-Grip Fingernail clippers.  $18.95.  http://www.solutions.com

#11 Toilet Tissue Aid

Arthritis patients who have a limited range of motion will appreciate this 15 ¾ inch personal wand.  Featuring a soft rubber handle and a quick-release button for disposal of bathroom tissue or cleansing wipes, the toilet tissue aid allows you full discretion.  $12.98.  http://www.harrietcarter.com

#12 Uplift PS1000 Power Seat

When you have to get up from that comfortable chair, at least you can do it painlessly and without stressing your lower back.  The Uplift Power Seat supports 100% of your weight, up to 300 pounds.  For indoor use, adjacent to a power source.  $219.95.  http://www.comforthouse.com

#13 Playing Card Holder Fan

Keep your poker face and give your hands a break; the Playing Card Holder lets you play bridge, poker, or Go Fish without causing any unnecessary strain on your knuckles.  Get one for each of your mates, as well!  $5.95.  http://www.activeforever.com

#14 Steady Write Pen

The triangular shape of this writing aid allows for a more ergonomically friendly writing experience.  $8.00  http://www.allegromedical.com

#15 Button Aid With Grey Grip

Do you have difficulty opening and closing small buttons? Chronic pain treatment professionals suggest using a thick-handled button tool, which allows you the freedom to dress independently.  The Button Aid is beneficial for individuals with neck pain, weak hand muscles, sore joints, and poor motor development.  $5.95.  http://www.colonialmedical.com

For more information on treating chronic pain or fibromyalgia, please read:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

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