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Managing fatigue if you have arthritis

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Fatigue is a feeling of being too exhausted to do your normal activities. It’s common for people with arthritis to experience high levels of fatigue. However, resting before you get tired, balancing rest and activity as well as prioritizing activity will help you manage your fatigue.

What causes fatigue?

Your arthritis, your emotions and your surroundings can all affect fatigue.

Other causes of fatigue include:

  • Having a lot of pain or swelling
  • Medications
  • Feeling worried, angry or depressed
  • Being in a warm stuffy room
  • Standing in a line up

Tips to reduce fatigue

Get enough sleep

  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
  • Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends
  • Do something to relax before bed such as reading or yoga
  • Go to bed when you are sleepy. Get up and do something quiet if you can’t sleep

Balance rest and activity

  • Take lots of breaks, even before you feel tired
  • Spread out tasks that need more energy over the day or week
  • Ask others for help
  • Use tools or devices to make tasks easier

Decide what is important

  • Decide what is important to you
  • Ask – could someone else do this?
  • Prioritize and use your energy for important things

Use good posture

  • Good posture takes less energy
  • Put things you use most in the easiest place to reach
  • Sit to do things, or change positions often

Resources and helpful links