It’s been said that you should keep your friends close but your enemies closer and when you suffer from chronic joint pain, inflammation is your most formidable enemy.
Dealing with any chronic condition can make you feel like you’re not in control of your own life. You spend your time either battling symptoms or waiting in worry for the next flare-up to strike. Well, there is one thing you can do not only to get to know your chronic joint pain but also develop a strategic plan to combat symptoms.
The only thing you need for this technique to work is a notebook you feel comfortable carrying with you, a pen and a few short moments to yourself a couple of times a day to take down information. Your best defense against your chronic joint pain is keeping a detailed diary of daily information that will help you pinpoint valuable insight into your condition.
What should I put in my Joint Pain Journal?
Your Joint Pain Journal should act as a snapshot of your day as it pertains to your joint pain. In the morning you should note your pain level, the location of the pain and any details about your sleep you feel to be pertinent. Record your sleeping position, length of sleep and level of restfulness. Take note of any and all medications you use as well as your physical activity throughout the day. Keep a detailed record of anything you eat or drink and your stress level. It’s also a good idea to keep a log of your mental health each day as well. If you’re feeling down because of the pain record it, you never know what information will prove valuable in the long run.
As you get more comfortable with journaling your chronic disease you might identify some other areas you may want to keep a record of in your journal. At the beginning of this process its best to aim to record more information than necessary. It’s a good idea to keep notes from your doctor’s visits in your journal as well as any questions you may have between visits, so they are always in an accessible place. The most important thing to remember about keeping a Joint Pain Journal is to tailor your journaling process to fit your life, so it becomes second nature to record your information each day. If you’re drawn to colors and visually stimulating images, jazz your journal up with colored pens or markers. If you want a more simplified process develop a simple shorthand or code system to help you record your information quickly and efficiently.
What are the benefits of keeping a Joint Pain Journal?
The first benefit of keeping a Joint Pain Journal is gaining your power back through awareness and familiarity. Many times, when joint pain strikes there is usually a trigger responsible for the inflammation. Keeping a Joint Pain Journal can help you identify your inflammation triggers and help you avoid them. If after a month of journaling you notice your knee inflammation flares the day after you usually carpool with your co-worker, you may have identified a trigger in the position of your seat in the car. Food is a huge determining factor in how much inflammation we have in our bodies so by keeping a detailed journal of your food intake; you’ll be able to soon identify which foods are responsible for your pain and which foods leave you feeling better and more active.
Our doctors rely on the information we give them because they see us for such a short time to learn as much as they can so they can prescribe treatment for us. Many people with chronic joint pain often find themselves at odds with medical professionals because it can be difficult to communicate pain levels and the necessity for pain management in a way that the patient feels is understood. Arriving at your doctor’s appointment with a detailed journal of your chronic joint pain can help you communicate and illustrate your pain levels to your doctor. The days your pain isn’t as severe, and you’re able to function and the days your pain leaves you in agony in bed will be clearly documented for your doctor to understand your scale of pain. Your journal information will also be able to help your doctor find the best treatment option available for you that works best with your normal routine. Instead of a having a short conversation where you’re trying to communicate the magnitude of living with chronic pain, you and your doctor can rely on the factual data in your Joint Pain Journal to get control of your chronic joint condition.
Identifying when, where, and how your chronic joint pain strikes through journaling can also give you a piece of mind when dealing with a seemingly chaotic condition. You may be able to identify triggers in your home or your workplace that you can work with your family and employer to improve to give you relief. If you notice your joint pain is worse as lunch approaches, you may be sitting in one place at work too long or sitting in an unsupportive chair. You may find that small breaks to stand, stretch and take a short walk are all you need to significantly reduce your pain. Journaling may even help you identify the days you have a high probability of having a flare up or certain weather conditions that can increase pain. Your journaling can transform you from the friend who always cancels because of your joint pain to the friend who starts keeping those engagements.
Getting to know your chronic joint pain is your first step to beating it. You don’t have to live with chronic pain in control, let your journal remind you that you are in control by identifying areas that will help you relieve your symptoms. Once you have your journal created, don’t forget to make a note to research stem cell therapy for chronic joint pain conditions. People everywhere are identifying stem cell therapy as a safe and effective alternative to traditional treatments. Stem cell therapy focuses on repairing joint damage organically and reversing the effects of your condition. Let today be the last day your chronic joint pain condition holds you back.