Tomorrow I have to stop taking Celebrex. Celebrex is an anti-inflammatory that has been very effective for me, it however shouldn't be taken a week before surgery. I'm dreading the effects of that because I know from previous times that Celebrex is helping me a lot. The last time I hurt in places I didn't even know I hurt when I stopped it.
Being a Dwyer (my maiden name) means a lot of things, one of which is having extensive arthritis so I will be creaky and sore for the next week for sure. I will, at the advice of my doctor, be adding an over the counter drug called Tylenol Extra Strength to my pain medications for this week. Many people find taking it helps arthritis pain. If you are one of those people here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic website on dealing with arthritic pain.
When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance.
What to do
Choose the right kinds of activities — those that build the muscles around your joints but don't damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that's right for you.
Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training.
Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.
What to avoid
Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as:
Repeating the same movement, such as a tennis serve, again and again
Many different types of medications are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.
What to do
Take medications. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren't used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.
Topical analgesics. Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain. Use alone or with oral medication.
Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications aren't enough to relieve your pain.
What to avoid
Overtreatment. Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly.
Undertreatment. Don't try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. It may mean you have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.
Focusing only on pain. Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.
Physical and emotional integration
It's no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you're bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.
What to do:
Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy. This well-studied, effective combination of talk therapy and behavior modification helps you identify — and break — cycles of self-defeating thoughts and actions.
Relaxation therapy. Find ways to relax. Meditating, doing yoga, deep breathing, listening to music, being in nature, writing in a journal — whatever works for you. There's no downside to relaxation, and it can help ease pain.
Acupuncture. Some people experience pain relief through acupuncture treatments, when a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at specific points on your body.
Heat and cold. Use of heat, such as applying heating pads to aching joints, taking hot baths or showers, or immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax, can help relieve pain temporarily. Be careful not to burn yourself. Use heating pads for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Use of cold, such as applying ice packs to sore muscles, can relieve pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise.
Massage. Massage may improve pain and stiffness. Make sure your massage therapist knows you have arthritis and where.
What to avoid:
Smoking. If you're addicted to tobacco, you may use it as an emotional coping tool. But it's counterproductive: Toxins in smoke cause stress on connective tissue, leading to more joint problems.A negative attitude. Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating. As long as you keep dwelling on them, they keep escalating until you believe the worst. Using negative thoughts to cope with pain can actually increase your risk of disability and pain. Instead, focus on adaptive therapies like distraction or calming statements.
Those are what's recommended and I use many of them myself on a daily basis. For one week my goal will be to not do anything that will aggravate it more. When you live with it daily, that approach doesn't work well so using these tips is imperative to be able to keep active and happy while living with arthritis.