What To Do When You Are Diagnosed with Arthritis of the Spine

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, it was probably pain that sent you to the doctor in the first place. One of the first things that you must do in this situation is to check the Austin Texas Orthopaedic Surgeon Doctors physician directory for contacts of the best surgeons in the area. Though Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book, On Death and Dying, outlines the stages of grief associated with death, the five-stage grieving premise can fit your situation of a future of chronic pain. Because there is no cure for arthritis, it can seem like a life sentence. You may first want to deny the diagnosis.

Next, you may face anger, wondering why this had to happen to you. Your life plans have come to a halt as you deal with changing your life style. The third stage of grief is bargaining. At that stage, you may say, “I’ll do (or not do) whatever it takes to be pain free.” When reality sets in that you will never be pain free (without the aid of medication that is), depression, the next stage of grief, may grasp you. This is the worst stage in dealing with chronic pain and may require help.

You need to push yourself to the last stage of grief,acceptance. Once you accept the situation, you can move forward, adapting your life as necessary. Chronic pain is not the end of your world. You will find the right medication and life-long changing habits to return to a happy, productive life. Here are some tips to get you going in the right direction.

First, do what your doctor tells you to do, and that includes taking medication as directed. Keep records of any issues, like upset stomach if you are taking NSAIDS to let your doctor know. To avoid possible reactions, don’t mix your prescribed pills with over the counter medications except at a doctor’s recommendation.

Use ice packs to help reduce inflammation. A heating pad will help to relax muscles. Both heat and cold can help reduce pain. Lying down can help lessen pain.

Sit properly with your back straight or slightly leaning back, knees bent, and feet on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor (no crossing the legs).

Physical therapy may help you and if your insurance limits the number of visits to a physical therapist, make notes of the exercises and stretches they taught you so you can do them on your own. While you are seeing a therapist, keep your appointments and follow their directions, performing all exercises and stretches as directed.

Continue an exercise regime because exercise increases your flexibility, making it easier to bend and move. But don’t perform any exercise that hurts. And if you are overweight, by losing weight, you will reduce the amount of pressure and pain on your spine. Yoga might benefit you. Walking is also an excellent exercise; however, avoid long walks, which can aggravate the pain. Through experience, you will learn what exercise works best for you and what duration you can handle to keep the pain at a tolerable level. Exercise and diet will help you attain a weight level suitable for your gender, age, and height. Plan to exercise at least 30 minutes each day (or on most days of the week). The exercise you perform should increase your heart rate and get you breathing a little harder.

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