Every year Arthur makes adjusting back to school difficult for lots of teenagers, young adults and children. On top of having new responsibilities, getting used to new routines and meeting new people, we also deal with more pain than usual. It tends to get colder when school is back in session, and that can easily bring more pain. Sitting for long periods of time doesn't help, especially when few practice proper posture in school. Writing more often may also be painful. And of course, everyone is different: Walking around a large campus may be most painful for one, but for the other constant one constantly taking notes may be the source of most pain.
Whether school pain is just beginning for you or has plagued you for the past few weeks, there are a few things you can try:
- If writing is painful, try using grips or thick pens. If you're allowed, bring a laptop or iPad for note taking and essay writing- it could be much easier.
- If your supposed to be carrying around heavy books, ask if you can have a book to keep at home and a book to keep in the classroom.
- Use a bag with thick straps.
- Eat protein with breakfast: It will help keep your energy and strength through the day. An egg, toast with peanut butter and yoghurt are excellent options.
- Find shortcuts wherever possible. Give yourself enough time to walk. If you find yourself late, or nearly late, for classes talk to your teacher- they may understand and will give you an extra few minutes.
- Go to bed early and try to wake up early. It doesn't sound appealing to most, but going early means you are more likely to get the amount of sleep you need. Waking up early allows your body more time to ease stiffness. Consider timing a heated blanket to go on one hour before you wake up, or pop your clothes in the dryer for a minute before putting them on.
- Wear sturdy, well broken in shoes. I know it's tempting to wear your newest shoes, but break them in at home first. Wear shoes that are comfortable for a long day: your feet will thank you.
They may be simple, but they can help a lot. Lots of young people are going back to school soon, or have already been in school for a few weeks. Arthritis pain should never stop the learning and friendships school gives us.
Good luck, and try your best.