Arthritis a bane of life

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People with a joint condition called osteoarthritis often have trouble sleeping because of pain, the lesser the sleep more pain and hence it’s a vicious cycle. Although pain killers help a lot, it is not always effective. Painkillers can also have harmful side effects on your health when you take them for too long. So a way to improve sleep and also alleviate pain without involving many medicines is surely a welcome breakthrough.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a new technique that helps people to change the way they think and feel about themselves and the world, and also how they behave. It’s already used for several other health problems, including depression and anxiety with some positive outcome.

Recently, a small study was conducted to find out whether (CBT) could help people with arthritis and sleep problems. People who took part in the (CBT) sessions said they slept better and reported feeling less pain immediately after finishing the course. Although the effects had worn off a bit they still had some benefits. The people who had undergone CBT did better than a comparison group of people who followed other treatment plans including breathing techniques and nutrition.

The study conducted is a randomized controlled trial, which is the best type of study for finding out whether treatment works. Since only 51 people participated the results are a bit less reliable.

If you have arthritis and find it hard to sleep, this study suggests that a course of CBT might help you in more than one way to fight pain and to get sleep.

Some tips that can help you overcome sleeping problems.

  • Avoid tobacco and drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleeping. Don’t read, watch television, eat or work there that might cause distraction.
  • Try to keep your room cool and quite. If you can’t sleep after about 15 or 20minutes try another room.
  • Avoid eating a large meal just before you sleep.
  • Try reading under a fairly dim light.
  • Get up at the same time every morning even if you don’t feel rested and relaxed
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