After you are diagnosed with arthritis, you might be thinking: what now? You and your doctor will create a treatment plan that caters to your type of arthritis in hopes of keeping pain and inflammation levels low. What many newly diagnosed patients don’t realize is, a treatment plan won’t work unless it is followed. Additionally, it must be understood that many treatment plans are an experimentation of trial and error. It will take patience to figure out what treatment paths manage your symptoms and control disease progression. To avoid pitfalls along the way, here are 5 common mistakes arthritis patients make regarding treatment, that you should avoid.
When your doctor prescribes you a medication or any other type of arthritis treatment like physical therapy, he also provides you directions on how often you should take the medicine or participate in therapy. These directions are important because they will help you achieve the optimal therapeutic level. If you choose not to follow directions, the only person who loses is you. You will not reach the full potential of the treatment plan and you will not reap the benefits. It’s best to make the commitment to follow doctor’s orders.
2. Take expired medication
This can be a mistake you make unconsciously. As you age, arthritis might not be the only condition you need medication for. It’s not unusual to have a drawer filled with different medications that may or may not have worked. These tend to accumulate, as we know you don’t want to throw any expensive medication out. You’ll never know when you may need to go back to certain medications. Chances are some of these pills will expire. Although there is some debate about whether medications remain effective past their expiration date, it’s best not to take that chance.
3. Fear side effects
It’s no big surprise that pretty much every type of medication is associated with possible side effects. These side effects often range from slight annoyances to adverse events. Some patients often fear these side effects and in an effort to avoid them, they cut down on the dose or treatment of specific medications. They use the logic: less medication, less chance of side effects. However, medication that is taken infrequently or not as prescribed can be ineffective. We recommend taking your medication as your doctor recommends
4. Not knowing potential side effects
On the flip side, even though potential side effects can be scary, you still need to know about them. When taking your meds, it’s important to be vigilant and pay attention to any signs that something may not be right. If this occurs, you should contact your doctor right away. Don’t ignore the signs of undesirable side effects.
5. Get stuck in a rut
This is easy to do, especially with arthritis treatment. In this case, this means becoming afraid to make changes to your current treatment program. This can be one of the most difficult areas of arthritis management. After starting a treatment regimen, you’ll likely reach a certain degree of pain relief and improvement in symptoms, but this tends to plateau. At this point you’ll need to ask yourself: could you improve more? are you still struggling with work or other responsibilities? are you less functional than you could be? If the answer is yes, talk to your doctor, it may be time for a change. Climb out of that rut and make a change. Be sure to monitor the effectiveness of the new treatment as well.
Arthritis treatment plans can seem overwhelming at first glance, but they are the path to your health and wellness. By implementing and sticking to your arthritis treatment, as well as avoiding these common mistakes you’ll be able to achieve the most effective results. Another great way to stay on track with your joint health is to add an all natural daily joint supplement to your diet. This is another way to keep your inflammation and pain levels to a minimum. Not sure which type of joint supplement is for? We can help. Download our free eBook by clicking the image below.