Increase Your Physical Activity
Adding some gentle exercises to your day can increase the amount of energy you have.
Staying active increases your fitness levels and strengthens your muscles. Weak muscles use more energy, so doing too little can be as damaging as doing too much.
Exercise also increases your circulation and improves the health of vital organs, such as your heart and lungs, which can also give you more energy.
Its important to give yourself time to recover after exercise by taking a break before you move onto your next activity.
When you start exercising
Introducing more physical activity to your day may be tiring at first. Dont overdo it, start your activity slowly, perhaps just add a 510 minute walk or some gentle stretching exercises to begin with.
If youre in pain you can take painkillers before you exercise.
Gradually build up the amount of activity you do. For example, when youre ready, walk for 5 more minutes or add some strengthening exercises to your routine.
Generally, the best way to build up your fitness levels is to do a little exercise as often as you can. Stick with it because as you get fitter youll start to feel better, stronger and more energetic.
You could try using a step counter such as a fitness tracker, a pedometer, or a mobile phone app. When youre ready and depending on how youre feeling, you could try to beat your previous records.
You should aim to exercise every day. But be aware some days will be easier than others.
Fighting Fatigue Tips To Help
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is a feeling of both physical and mental tiredness. It is often described as exhaustion or a lack of energy, and can make everyday tasks seem impossible. Many people with arthritis experience fatigue, no matter what they have been doing or how much sleep they get. There are many possible causes of fatigue, including the disease activity, pain , certain medicines, muscle weakness and wasting, anaemia , or depression, as follows.
Contributing factors of fatigue with arthritis
Active disease Inflammation in the joints and other tissues can cause fatigue in people with inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Chemicals called cytokines found in inflamed tissues can cause extreme fatigue. Anaemia sometimes occurs with inflammation, and can also cause fatigue.
Drug treatment Some drugs used to treat arthritis-related pain may cause drowsiness, loss of concentration and light-headedness.
Pain Pain is a major symptom of most types of arthritis and it can wear you down, especially if its constant. See our BLOG article below, Tips to manage chronic pain.;
Muscle weakness Inactivity due to pain or joint problems can cause muscles to become weak, which may contribute to fatigue because more effort will be needed to make the joints work.
When people are less physically active they become unfit, and this can also cause fatigue.
Tips to manage fatigue
The good news is that there are ways you can deal with fatigue that may help you.
Ongoing Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness and people described different symptoms which they experienced whilst living with the disease, some of which were eased by the medication prescribed but others that persisted. Joint instability, inflammation and deterioration are all causes of pain and most people we interviewed had these in some form. Some people also have rheumatoid nodules which are bumps/lumps which can appear overnight on tendons and joints. Most commonly nodules on elbows and fingers were mentioned. These were not necessarily painful, sometimes disappeared on their own or required aspiration, a steroid injection or surgery for removal.People described pain in many ways’ extraordinary, incredible, absolute agony, excruciating, pumping, intolerable, burning, tingling, nervy, like toothache without the teeth, a raging fever, feet shouting at me etc. Many felt that the hardest thing about RA was having to ‘struggle against the pain’, ‘deal with the pain’ or ‘manage the pain’ on a daily basis. Ongoing, ‘grinding’ pain was debilitating, people couldn’t tackle problems, it sapped their energy and de-motivated them.One woman talked about the pain she had had and steeling herself against the pain to go through the pain barrier. People also said they had become used to the pain, learnt to cope with it and that their pain tolerance levels had been raised. Sometimes this was bad as they didn’t immediately notice more severe joint damage.
Also Check: How To Minimize Arthritis Pain
Joint Symptoms That Signal An Emergency
OA may negatively impact your quality of life. However, it is usually not a disease that requires urgent or emergency action.
That said, not all joint pain is caused by OA. Joint pain can also be caused by other, serious health problems. Call your doctor if you experience:
- joint pain lasting longer than three days
- severe, unexplained joint pain
Schedule Naps Into Your Day If You Can
Renee A., 40, says that her fatigue comes in spurts. Some days, I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world; other days I wake up feeling like a Mack truck hit me, she says. Its very difficult and it requires a lot of mental fortitude. Renee home-schools her three children and says she sometimes holds lessons in her bedroom or on the couch, which allows her to rest. If Renee doesnt take time to nap or even sit for a while, then her fatigue and other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms flare up and she feels much worse, she says. I have learned that the hard way, Renee says.
If you dont work from home, or if your schedule is packed with Zoom meetings and tight deadlines, then you may not be able to nap whenever you feel exhausted. However, if you can, lying down even for a few minutes after work may be helpful. Creaky Joints volunteer Eileen D., 35, says taking a short nap can make a big difference in her energy levels. Sometimes I need to have a quick rest. Just 20 minutes can be a lifesaver, she tells SELF. Sleeping for too long can make you feel groggyand make fatigue worseso its a good idea to nap for 1020 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Arthritis From Progressing
What Kind Of Treatment Could Help Against Fatigue
Sometimes is still a major problem despite adjusting your daily schedule, doing physical exercise and getting support from other people. Then professional help may be an option, for instance in the form of psychological treatment or occupational therapy. Some specialized programs have been developed specifically for people who have fatigue as a result of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. They’re designed to do things like help you plan activities and make sure you don’t use up all of your energy at once.
Cognitive behavioral therapy strategies can also be learned to help cope with . Some involve recognizing and then changing certain thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that make it more difficult to live with the disease.
Studies on non-drug treatments show that approaches used in occupational therapy and psychotherapy can relieve exhaustion.
Rearrange Your Kitchen Counter
A simple natural way to prevent fatigue: Put everything you use often within easy reach. Then do the same in your bathroom and bedroom. Set up your home to make life a little easier on you, particularly on the more difficult days, say experts.
And use specialized assistive tools throughout the day zipper pulls, gripping tools, electric can openers, and long shoe horns can all help conserve energy and ease pain.
Also Check: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Your Hands
Being In Pain And Generally Feeling Unwell With The Ra Made Him Feel Depressed But Taking A Short
Others had more serious depression which resulted in longer periods of staying in the house and not wanting to see or talk to people. Two women said they had considered ending their lives because they thought they were not going to get any better and had a lot of pain and were unable to do things.
Four people had seen a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist, with mixed experiences.Weight change can also occur with RA. Weight loss was due to loss of appetite, stress, sickness as a result of the side effects of medication and physically finding it difficult to eat. Two people wanted to lose weight to reduce pressure on joints. Weight gain, as an effect of long-term steroid use or because it was difficult to exercise was a problem for a few people.
Last reviewed August 2016.
Tips To Manage Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue
If you have psoriatic arthritis and need a nap to get through the day, some simple changes can boost your energy and make you feel better.
Recommended Reading: How To Keep Arthritis From Spreading
Try Yoga With Plenty Of Quick Movements
Similar to walking, you may want to do some yoga only when you feel up to it and not push yourself too hard on days when you’re experiencing severe RA fatigue. Jewell says practicing vinyasa yoga energizes her because it includes plenty of quick movements. When there is a bit more movement and joint mobility in the practice, I get a huge boost of energy after my yoga sessions, she says. But, she points out, if she does slower, more restorative-style yoga, then she feels relaxed and ready for bed. There are plenty of virtual classes in a variety of yoga styles and class length, so getting started may feel a bit overwhelming. This list of the 20 best YouTube yoga accounts describes what youll find on each channel and is a good place to get started.
Get The Facts About Jak Inhibitors The Newest Class Of Fda
2. Kick-start your exercise routine. Inactivity can be a vicious circle RA fatigue makes it hard to get moving, and inactivity makes fatigue worse,” Ali explains. “Most people with RA do feel energized after exercise. It may help to work with a physical therapist to get started.” The best exercises for people with RA are often low-impact activities like stationary cycling, swimming, and walking.
3. Nix the naps. A good nights sleep requires healthy sleep habits. If possible, avoid napping during the day. You need to be awake for about 16 hours in order to sleep well at night for example, getting up at 7 a.m. and going to bed at 11 p.m. When you do turn in, keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable and avoid making it an entertainment center . Also, skip the alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime and limit caffeine after noon. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also help you establish a quality sleep routine that leaves you feeling refreshed.
6. Ask your doctor about medications for fatigue. Certain medications may help chronic fatigue, such as modafinil. However, “you need to use these with caution, because once you start taking them, it may be hard to stop,” Ali says. “Tramadol is a pain medication that can help improve sleep thats disrupted by RA pain. As another option, a low-dose antidepressant, also given at bedtime, has been shown to reduce pain, increase sleep, and reduce fatigue in some people with RA,” he says.
Also Check: What’s Better For Arthritis Heat Or Ice
Dealing With Inflammation Saps The Bodys Energy Levels
In addition, a study showed that 95 percent of patients with RA report suboptimal levels of energy that impact their quality of life. There is a biological explanation for it, says Dr. Domingues:;When there is an inflammatory process, such as RA, lupus or ankylosing spondylitis, your immune system is constantly producing and carrying inflammation and, therefore, using energy.
Importantly, chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS, differs from fatigue. ME/CFS is a complex disease characterized by extreme fatigue that is not associated with an underlying medical condition and lasts for six months or longer. Researchers dont know what causes it, but they do know that it will often worsen with physical or mental activity, according to a consensus report by the;Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Develop An Arthritis Pain Management Strategy
A person can work with a doctor to develop a plan for managing arthritis pain.
Where possible, it is important to avoid going to bed in pain. A doctor can recommend an appropriate pain relief medication to prevent pain before bedtime. They might suggest:
- nighttime release arthritis drugs
- drugs that work for 24 hours
- an evening dose of pain medication
Identifying and managing arthritis triggers can also be helpful. A person can try keeping a pain and sleep log to determine and address any patterns that seem to worsen sleep or pain.
Read Also: Why Does Psoriatic Arthritis Hurt So Bad
Why Does Ra Cause Fatigue
Antibodies that cause the inflammation of RA affect your central nervous system, not just your joints. High inflammation levels can lead to severe fatigue.
RA also causes long-term pain. It can leave you feeling worn out by the end of the day. But when your joints hurt, itâs hard to sleep. RA fatigue makes it hard to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
When you have RA, fatigue, pain, and mood problems can become a vicious cycle. Doctors think high levels of inflammation might cause all three of these symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes To Combat Fatigue
Studies such as several done by Patti Katz, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, show the most effective interventions for fatigue are good lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle Changes to Combat Fatigue
Get Up and Move
Exercise helps with fatigue in many ways. It increases muscle mass, strength, blood circulation and flexibility, all of which will boost energy and reduce pain. Exercise also generates endorphins, which are brain chemicals that produce a sense of well-being and vitality and they can improve nighttime sleep.;
Dehydration can be a hidden source of fatigue. You need at least a half-gallon of fluids or more a day, depending on your activity level and how hot and dry the weather is.
Nourish your body with good, whole foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to get adequate lean protein and healthy fats. If you need to lose weight, reduce your portions and limit processed, high-salt, sugary foods. Always start your day with breakfast that includes lean protein and complex carbohydrates to provide long-lasting energy.
Ease Your Mind
If depression or stress is adding to your fatigue or keeping you awake at night, you might want to see a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and mind-body exercise like yoga and tai chi can help calm your thoughts and boost your energy.
Support Your Joints
Maintain Good Sleep Habits
Take a Break
Get Some Help
Recommended Reading: What To Take For Arthritis Pain
Can Psoriatic Arthritis Make You Tired
Yes. Studies show close to 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have some degree of fatigue.
When you have this disease, your body makes proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation. They make your joints swell and become painful or stiff.
These proteins may also cause fatigue, although doctors aren’t sure why. When you have a flare, the cytokines set your immune system off. But instead of fighting an infection, your immune system attacks your joints. Maybe the fatigue comes from your body using energy to do this.
The joint pain and skin rashes that can come with this type of arthritis may also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. A medication might help you get better rest.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms & Signs
Rheumatoid arthritis usually inflames multiple joints and affects both sides of the body. In its most common form, therefore, it is referred to as a symmetric polyarthritis. Early RA symptoms may be subtle. The small joints of both the hands and wrists are often involved. Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be pain and prolonged stiffness of joints, particularly in the morning. Symptoms in the hands with rheumatoid arthritis include difficulty with simple tasks of daily living, such as turning door knobs and opening jars. The small joints of the feet are also commonly involved, which can lead to painful walking, especially in the morning after arising from bed.
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