How can arthritis impact my daily life?

A lot of how arthritis impacts on your daily life is due to your attitude, choices and willingness to learn more about the disease and the support options available. First of all, you'll want to get as much practical information about arthritis as you can. Find out what treatment is available, which activities you should pursue and which you should avoid.

You'll want to find a doctor you feel comfortable with and ask him all your questions about arthritis. Many people find that as soon as they leave the doctor's office, they figuratively slap their forehead and mutter, "Why didn't I ask the doctor about that medication, supplement, or a certain exercise regimen?" Take your time before you go to the doctor to write down whatever questions you have, and write down the answers you get, because forgetting is a part of being human. Ask for more clarification if you don't understand the medical terms the doctor uses.

A variety of devices, medications, occupation therapies and physical therapies can help to alleviate the pain of arthritis or improve range of movement. An arthritis support group can be invaluable, both for the emotional support and inspiration of seeing people who also suffer from arthritis but who still lead happy, fulfilling lives, and for practical tips on what they've found that really works. You can visit the Arthritis Foundation's Web site at

With some planning, you can ensure that arthritis will make less of an impact on your life than you may have thought. For example, you can still travel, providing that you pick accommodations that maximize the comfort of your trip. The more you find out what's available, the better you'll be able to work around – and live with -- your arthritis.