Does your social life have an impact on your arthritis pain?

Of course, you can still have a social life when you have arthritis, but to reduce your pain you may have to alter the way you do things. In fact, keeping a social life is very important for your overall emotional health. The main thing is not to overdo. Don't stay housebound but do give yourself little breaks to rest in between activities. If you have to carry something, make sure it's not too heavy. The maximum you should carry is no more than 10% of your body weight and carry it to the center of your body so you don't put undue strain on your affected joints. Better still, instead of carrying things, get a cart or a bag with wheels and just put everything inside.

Getting up from a seated position can often be a problem so avoid sinking into a deep-cushioned chair or couch. It's much easier to sit down or get up from a straight-backed chair. In a car, first sit down on the seat and then swivel your legs around inside, and do the reverse to get out. You may also want a pillow or portable seat to give your lower back support. You can also use it for other problematic sitting situations, like sporting events or the movies.


Even if you don't go out a lot it's still a good idea is to get cushioned insoles or special shoes to help support your feet. Having Velcro on your shoes instead of laces will also make it easier to get your shoes on and off. If you wear athletic shoes they often have midsole shock absorbers, which offer extra support and help reduce stress on your legs. Another good tip is to get a walking stick, cane or even a walker to help you move around inside or outside the house.