Rheumatic conditions affect more than just physical health. It can affect other areas of life like mental health, relationships with others and the ability to do certain things at home or at work. If we only focus on controlling the pain with medicine, then it is possible that we ignore other areas of life that could also be affected by having a rheumatic condition.
Rather than dealing with just the physical effects, we instead think about how a condition effects people physically, psychologically, and also socially. This helps to create a bigger picture, and highlight what other challenges might be faced for each person. We think that the best way to help people is by offering a supported self management approach. This means that we look at the individual as a whole and explore what they can do with our help to manage their condition well. It can help to think of self management like a jigsaw. There are many different pieces to the puzzle, and by fitting all the pieces together there is a bigger picture and the hard work can be appreciated.
Supported self management, to us, means putting what matters to you first. By asking what matters to you, we can offer the service in a way that puts each patient at the centre of their own care. We can then offer to provide the knowledge and support to develop their own skills which they can use to build confidence in living well with a rheumatic condition.
Learning to self manage can take time, and it involves trying out new things to discover what works best. We are here to support you in this journey. If you have any questions about your condition or would like to learn more about what you can do to self manage, contact the Rheumatology advice line for more information.