Pain and arthritis are inseparable. Proper treatment of arthritis under expert care controls disease and reduces pain. Pain is an individual experience. Hence one should find his or her way to tackle pain. There is no magic pill to kill the pain. It is always advisable to use the least possible dose of painkillers due to their various adverse effects. One can control pain by sensibly understanding own pain and finding out ways to combat it. Life returns to normal once again. One can live well with pain though it may not go away completely.
Chronic pain affects emotions and leads to anxiety, insomnia, and depression in almost every patient. Clinical psychologists may be consulted in such situations as depression leads to protracted pain. They can identify the factors underlying stress. They help change one's attitude towards pain, increase willpower to combat pain, and install the urge to work despite pain.
Remaining active is essential for physical fitness. Rest invites illness. Jobless inactivity increases loneliness and focuses attention on the pain. Exercise is as critical as being active. Body ache is expected during the initial days of exercise. This pain is a feature of the regeneration of muscles all over. Initiate exercise with a short workout and increase it slowly over some time. Exercise decreases pain and increases endurance. Do whatever you like - walking, cycling, yoga, or dance. These help us control our body and increase our capacity to live with pain.
Music therapy, aromatherapy, Yoga-pranayam, massage, physiotherapy, and many other modalities are used to treat chronic pain. There is nothing good or bad about them. One can try some of them and select one that helps most for the relief of pain. These trials are like trying various screwdrivers for fitting a screw and using whichever is of the correct size.
We will not be able to deal with pain without understanding it. Hence one should study one's pain well and try to control it our self. Thoughts, emotions, and behavior affect the pain as well as the living with pain. All these factors need to be changed while learning to live with pain. We should be able to develop a positive attitude towards everything around us. One must be able to understand that various perspectives can view a given situation. One should also recognize that a single job can be done in different ways. Helen Keller quotes, 'I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.' Although pain may be inevitable, we can avoid pain-related suffering ourselves. A proper balance of drugs, exercise, work, and rest will help one live with pain.
One should plan each day by setting some goal and make efforts to achieve that. Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy. Try to divert your mind away from pain. A hobby can help you in this respect. Learn stress-relieving techniques. It takes time to adjust to the situation. You may sometimes fail and sometimes benefit from every minor change. It is good to listen to other patients facing a similar problem. We can learn many things from them. Try to help them - this will give you immense satisfaction.
Overwork increases pain in some patients. Distribution of work is vital in such situations. Patients with inflammatory arthritis have stiffness in the mornings – they should work more in the evenings. Patients with degenerative osteoarthritis can work more in the mornings as they have less pain during the early hours of the day. One should reduce hours of work or change the job if this approach does not work. One need not get depressed in such a situation.
In the words of Sahir Ludhianwi (Film: Hum Dono)
Jo mil gaya usi ko mukaddar samajh liya जो मिल गया उसीको मुकद्दर समझ लिया
Jo kho gaya main usko bhulata chala gaya जो खो गया मैं उस को भुलाता चला गया l
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya. मैं जिंदगी का साथ निभाता चला गया l
One should accept pain and live with it as it may not go away completely. Denying pain, if it is a part of our life, is like denying life itself. Suffering from chronic pain does not mean the end of everything. There are many instances other than pain that can make life miserable. One must remember that although many people suffer from pain, almost all of them do live successful life.