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Community Forums Roundup: Dealing With RA Pain in All Its Forms

Here at RheumatoidArthritis.net, our community members and the stories they share in our forums are invaluable sources of connection, knowledge, and support for all, no matter where they are in their RA journey.

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To bring more awareness to important topics in the community, and to highlight some of the amazing conversations taking place in our community forums, we've gathered together a few perspectives on this month's most popular discussion topics.

In each of the topic sections below, you can enter your own response to the prompt in the white box and click "Share my response," or click on "View all responses" to read advice and stories from fellow community members and Health Leaders. We'll see you there!

Pain, pain, go away

Painful, stiff, swollen joints are a hallmark symptom of RA. But RA pain is often not confined to just 1 joint. Many people have complex symptoms and comorbidities that cause pain and inflammation in many different areas and systems of the body.

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Many RA community members try a variety of pain medicines to treat inflammation, aches, and pains throughout the body. Have you experienced pain in unexpected places? What pain medicines or complementary treatments have worked for you?

hongwu31: "When I told [my RA doctor] I have been having increased pain in my knees lately, she immediately wanted to improve my RA medication... I am left a little lost. I don't want to overtreat my RA if that is not the cause of my pain, but how do I know?"

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Dandycamp64: "My RA doctor has tried 2 different times with RA pills. They made me hurt in places I never hurt before... The question is, would [you] go through infusions or just deal with the pain?"

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Common RA pain triggers

Do certain emotions or situations in daily life trigger your RA pain? Do you find you have flare-ups more often when you are stressed, overworked, or grieving?

Many people in the RA community report that stress at work or in their personal lives can cause heightened RA symptoms, including an increase in pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

tdobson282: "My job is very stressful and has caused arthritis flares very frequently. My job is sedentary, and I sit at a computer all day typing on a keyboard, inputting data. I wear gloves on my hands to compress swelling of my wrists. Yeah, it works sometimes, and other times it's very painful."

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Daniel Malito: "[Stress] can trigger our illnesses and make an already bad situation even worse! Then we even get stress worrying about stress! Talk about a double whammy."

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The emotional and mental impact of RA

Coping with mental and emotional pain is also a part of living with RA pain. Dealing with an ongoing, unpredictable illness can be exhausting and upsetting.

Managing a chronic illness can impact our personal relationships and the way we see the world. People around us cannot see our pain and are often unaware of it. It can make you feel invisible!

If you find yourself trying to manage the emotional impact of RA, you are not alone. Visit a forum from one of your fellow community members or share an experience in the comment section of this article to find support. We're here for you.

MAsanchez: "I have been dealing with RA pain for 30-plus years... Then people wonder why mental health comes into play alongside RA pain. This illness is so overwhelming."

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Maria 777: "Just wanted to know if any of you have done or are doing therapy with a psychologist/psychiatrist that specializes in autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, or 'invisible' diseases? And if so, [have you] found it more beneficial?"

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What questions do you have about RA pain management?

Want community support or insights from others about RA pain management? Want to share an experience with a coping method or medicine? Just want to vent? Our community is here for you. Start a discussion by entering a question or sharing an experience in the box below!

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