All posts related to "love"

Making Valentine’s Day special for someone living with arthritis

Valentines Day image

Research has shown that people in relationships in which they feel positive, connected, and comfortable sharing feelings may experience a reduction in their physical disability and pain, and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Do you know how to make Valentine’s Day special for someone living with arthritis?

Below are some ways to impress your sweetheart:

  1. Take the time to learn your partner’s disease. Learning about your partner’s disease will show that you care, understand and want to share their struggles and celebrate their accomplishments with them. You will also reduce the feelings of stress and frustration that sometimes come with explaining one’s arthritis to a friend or loved one.
  2. Pace your Valentine’s Day activities. Pace yourself to conserve your energy. Look at what you can realistically do and ask your partner for their feedback on your Valentine’s Day plan(s). You will both feel more relaxed and controlled.
  3. Ask others to help. Put certain tasks on hold or delegate others to complete the tasks for you while you take the night off with your loved one. If you have children or pets, ask a relative or friend if they can look after them for you.
  4. Avoid long commute. There are health risks associated with activities that require you to be in the same position for long periods of time, such as getting stiff or swollen joints. If you must commute a long way, ensure the car seat is comfortable and to take short standing breaks every 15 minutes or so.
  5. Avoid smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink before anticipated sexual activity. Both reduce sexual functioning. Furthermore, some of the medicines your doctor prescribes to relieve sore joints don’t mix well with alcohol – including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), which carry a greater risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers when you drink. Taken with acetaminophen, methotrexate or leflunomide, alcohol can make you more susceptible to liver damage.
  6. Start the night with a warm shower or bubble bath to warm up the joints, to help with sore muscles, and to relax.
  7. Talk to your partner about what you like and don’t like, what hurts and what doesn’t hurt. You may find the honesty will enhance your relationship, and you will likely be more comfortable during sexual activity because of communicating what works for you. If you are finding these conversations difficult, you may benefit from seeing a sex therapist.
  8. Incorporate sexual activity and physical contact (like hugging) into your Valentine’s Day activities. Both can improve bonds between people and help build trust, reduce pain, promote sleep, reduce stress, boost immunity, burn calories, improve self-esteem, and improve heart health.

If you have any other ideas, please leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. On behalf of the team at Arthritis Broadcast Network, I hope you will have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

How to support a loved one who is living with chronic pain

Couple The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:00am PDT or 2:00pm EDT titled “How to Support a Loved One Who is Living with Chronic Pain”. The webinar is co-sponsored by Pain BC and The Canadian Pain Coalition. Register for the webinar now.

In the webinar, you will learn:

  1. Strategies for supporting a loved one who has chronic pain.
  2. Things to avoid when attempting to support your loved one.
  3. The ways in which chronic pain can impact family members, for better or worse.

Dr. Susan Holtzman, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) and registered psychologist, will draw from her experience and training and share the most effective strategies for supporting the people you love, as well as some of the patterns of support that can be damaging to your relationship and health.

Dr. Holtzman is especially interested in how social relationships can help or hinder people’s efforts to cope with their illness, and how chronic illness can impact the family. Her research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the National Institutes of Health.