Ask The Doctors: November 2012

Mood and Pain...Imaging Joint Damage...Identifying Arthritis Symptoms...

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Although there has been some limited research on the relationship between emotions and arthritis, the findings have not shown emotions to be a cause of flare-ups-however, they can make symptoms worse. When overwhelmed with emotional pain, such as anger, frustration, or sadness, you are less able to cope with physical pain. When youre in a bad mood, for example, you might focus on symptoms that are normally ignored during a good mood. Living and coping with any chronic disease is difficult. Some studies have shown that patients who understand their condition and participate actively in their own treatment report less pain. Take time to rest and relax. Dont give up your everyday activities, but do set realistic and flexible goals. Participate in activities that you can enjoy. Recognize that your emotional state is a factor in how severe your symptoms seem to be and how well youre able to cope with them.
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