Most Common Mistakes Made by People With Arthritis

10 Mistakes You Can Correct

Photo by Marcin Balcerzak (iStockphoto)

Question: What Are the Most Common Mistakes Made by Arthritis Patients?

As a rheumatologist, what are the most common mistakes made by arthritis patients? Much has been written about what arthritis patients should do, but what have you observed as common mistakes?

Answer:

Mistake #1

Patients who have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and do not go on DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs).

Mistake #2

Patients not taking their medication as prescribed due to either non-compliance or misunderstanding directions.

Mistake #3

Patients that resume normal activities less than 24 hours after a joint injection (e.g. knee injections) or using joint injections to increase their level of activity - the latter could theoretically accelerate the progression of joint damage.

Mistake #4

Patients not seeking a second opinion when they have doubts or questions about their medical treatment or are not satisfied with their care.

Mistake #5

Underestimating the importance of good sleep.

Mistake #6

Underestimating the importance of regular aerobic exercise.

Mistake #7

Patients not keeping up to date on their age appropriate preventive exams (e.g. breast and pelvic for women; prostate for men; colonoscopy for men and women)

Mistake #8

Patients continuing to smoke.

Mistake #9

Patients not taking a multivitamin.

Mistake #10

Trying to fit too much into one day (overdoing it), in other words, patients not paying attention to their mental health.

Answer provided by Scott J. Zashin, M.D., clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Division of Rheumatology, in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Zashin is also an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology and a member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle of Anti-TNF Blockers and co-author of Natural Arthritis Treatment.

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