Being in pain can be the hardest part of living with rheumatoid arthritis. While medications help, they don't always make the pain go away completely.
Coping with pain means acknowledging that the problem is not just the pain itself. Constant pain has an effect on your whole life.
Most people with rheumatoid arthritis are faced with frequent or ongoing pain. While you may not be able to avoid pain, you can take control of the situation. Is the pain of rheumatoid arthritis starting to affect yo...
Talk to your boss. Don’t be are afraid to ask for help. You might feel guilty or worry about sharing health information. But if you seek help, you may get what you need to do your best.
“The American with Disabilities Act says that [employers] must go the extra mile to accommodate a good employee [if you have 15 or more employees],” says David W. Smith. He's the director of the Disability Assessment Research Clinic at The University of Arizona Arthritis Center. “If you've been a good worker, employers are going to go all-out to keep you on the job.”
Involve your boss or human resources department early. “Don't wait until you're work-disabled to ask [for help],” says John Esdaile, MD, MPH. He's the scientific director of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. “Start talking about this problem before it's a problem.”
Take breaks. Pain and fatigue can make work harder, whether you sit, stand, or carry things. Ask your boss if you can take breaks or stretch at set times. If need be, have your doctor write a note.
You may need frequent rest periods, says Harry D. Fischer, MD. He's the chief of the division of rheumatology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York. Or, if you sit for long periods, you may need to get up and move around so your joints don’t get stiff.
Change your workspace. Ask your boss if you can set up your work area in ways that help you avoid pain or injury.
Changes can be as simple as a new chair -- or a new keyboard that might be easier on your hands and wrists. Or, you can ask to get your computer monitor and chair adjusted so they're the right height for you, Esdaile says.
“Work accommodations can often be really cheap,” he says, and they "can make a world of difference.”