I'm not normally a big fan of "Arthritis Today" because I don't really feel like I learn anything new from their articles. I consider myself a pretty well-informed patient, so it takes a little more effort to teach me something new. Also, when it comes to pain relief, most of their things I've read are all about exercise, exercise, exercise. Which I agree is important - but I already do that every day! What else ya got for me?!
So, when I stumbled across the "Five Steps to Pain Relief" article today in my Facebook feed, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it does mention exercise. But it also mentions some other good, practical tips. Plus - it admits that there are many societal barriers to arthritis pain relief, including the health-care system itself. Woo hoo! Thank goodness someone finally admitted that! I know from some of your stories I've read and one or two of my own experiences, some days it feels like people (some doctors included!) are all like "oh - you're in pain; well, sorry, but that's just part of RA..." Um, yeah - not helpful!
I don't know about you, but sometimes it makes me feel better just to be acknowledged, to have my pain accepted as real - and not something that's just in my head. It can be hard with RA especially because the pain can be so sporadic. Some people might think, "How much pain could she really be in? She was walking just fine earlier." I know part of caring about what other people think is my own problem (self-doubt, self-esteem issues), but I don't think I'm alone in that...
So, anyway - it feels good to be vindicated, especially by a well-respected organization like the Arthritis Foundation. And, I think I've found a new technique I want to try. They describe "contrast baths," where you alternate cool and hot water instead of sticking with just one. When my pain is just all over, I often try taking a hot bath. Most times it helps, but sometimes it makes things worse so I get out of the tub (or have hubby pull me out!). Next time that happens, I'm going to try switching right over to cool water to see if that makes a difference.
What are your go-to pain relief methods?