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What Did An Arthritis Research Study Find Out About Fatigue?

May 6, 2021

You probably don’t need an arthritis research study to tell you that arthritis and pain have forever been linked. A recent poll about arthritis pain revealed a somewhat surprising finding. Nearly everyone who is dealing with it is also battling fatigue.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are actually more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, and one of the most common symptoms is pain.

But until now, researchers didn’t know just how big an impact arthritis pain has on fatigue. So, let’s take a look at what the poll uncovered and what you can do to get better sleep if you’re battling arthritis.

What The Study Found

Researchers at Arthritis Power wanted to get a better understanding of the impact arthritis pain can have on fatigue. So their researchers asked a simple question to nearly 1,000 of its members: Does fatigue from your chronic disease prevent you from participating in your usual activities/engagements?

89% of the 983 respondents said it does.

How Does Arthritis Cause Fatigue?

Arthritis can lead to poor sleep and insomnia due to the chronic joint pain that you may be suffering from. And chronic pain is considered to be a big factor that links arthritis and fatigue. That’s because it often interferes with sleep — and lack of sleep, in turn, can worsen pain. Research shows that a lack of sleep can reduce your pain threshold and pain tolerance IF you have arthritis.

Medications you take to treat your arthritis symptoms play a role too. While disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) like biologics can ultimately reduce inflammation and pain, many patients report that these medications contribute to symptoms of fatigue, especially on the day of and the days following their dose.

Tips To Deal With Fatigue

If you have arthritis and you’re feeling fatigued there are some things you can try to help alleviate it.

You should start by working with your doctor to tailor options to your needs. Some of the things your doctor may suggest for dealing with fatigue could include:

  1. Lifestyle changes
    1. Diet
    2. Exercise
    3. Self-care
  2. Adjusting your medications
    1. Dose reduction
    2. Changing the class of medication
    3. Changing the timing of when you take medication (you may prefer to take weekly medications right before the weekend so you can have time to rest)
  3. Find and treat underlying medical issues that may be contributing to your fatigue
  4. Seek therapy and emotional help through support groups.

If you’re looking for new or additional ways to relieve your pain, you may want to look into essential oils for arthritis. You can also look into adding a brace for your knee or wrist. Talk to your doctor about adding them to your pain relief regimen.

And remember, May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. So, it’s a good time to start conquering your arthritis by learning the facts, understanding your condition and knowing that help is by your side.

Just set up an appointment with your primary care physicians to start putting together a pain management plan that is right for you.

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