Back to School with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Raising a family is a challenge in itself. When you throw Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) into the mix, things can get a little dicey. Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 2 million Americans, with the majority of them being women. RA occurs when your body’s immune system targets the healthy tissues of your joint linings. RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and small joints of the feet.

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Stress is unfortunately an inevitable part of our daily lives, and sometimes it can come from the smallest inconveniences. Regardless of the reason for stress, many people with RA notice that when stress levels rise, so does pain. While the connection still isn’t fully understood, Research shows that stress may play a role in the actual inflammation that causes pain. [i]

Life doesn’t stop when you have a chronic illness like RA. The long summer days come to an end and before you know it, it’s time for kids to head back to school. Early mornings, packing lunches, carpool, soccer practice, PTA…suddenly the anxiety that the kids are feeling from back-to-school has hit you full-force! It can definitely add a lot of stress when you’re already trying to cope.

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So, what do you do to manage? How do you keep it together?

Here’s some helpful tips:

Get enough sleep! Rest is everything. When you have RA, you certainly need your body certainly needs rest, but sleep can also help you to cope with stress better.

Prep and Plan! Planning ahead can make a big difference. Pack lunches at night so mornings are more simple. Have your kids lay their outfits out for the next morning and have their backpacks ready to go by the door.

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Don’t take on too much. You don’t have to be carpool mom, room mom, PTA mom, and bring snacks to every soccer game. Pick 1!

While parenting with RA is not easy, research studies testing potential new treatments are enrolling now at New England Research Associates. Qualified participants are closely evaluated by board-certified physicians and other medical professionals, and may even gain access to new treatments before they are available to the general public. Compensation is also available for time and travel expenses. To learn more, click HERE.