Fatigue and Arthritis

February 2021


Fatigue is one of the most common, and can be one of the most debilitating symptoms of arthritis.

Fatigue is intense physical and mental tiredness which can make completing even the most simple tasks challenging. 

Most people who live with arthritis also have fatigue. Unfortunately, fatigue has also been shown to make other arthritis symptoms worse, such as pain and stiffness.    


The link between fatigue and arthritis

Generally, arthritis can lead to fatigue in a number of different ways. Living with the chronic pain caused by arthritis has been shown to be physically and mentally draining leading to fatigue. To make things worse, arthritis pain can also affect quality of sleep which again can ad to the fatigue the conditions cause. 

Although every type of arthritis can cause fatigue it is particularly common in inflammatory and autoimmune types of arthritis, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. These types of arthritis cause the bodies immune system to malfunction and mistakenly attack its own healthily tissues. This autoimmune disease process can be very energy intensive, painful and can effect normal sleeping patterns - all of which cause fatigue. 

Sometimes though, the fatigue may not be directly caused by arthritis and arthritis pain. Other factors can contribute to fatigue, like medication side effects, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet or nutritional deficiencies, anxiety or depression, or other medical conditions. It is important to work with your health team to identify the possible causes of your fatigue, so that you can work out the best ways to manage it. 


Managing fatigue

Luckily, there are some great ways to manage fatigue, most of which start by checking in with your healthcare team. Below are a number of links to great information on how to best manage arthritis fatigue: 

 

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