Tips for surviving college with arthritis

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Professionals refer to it as juvenile arthritis, despite the fact that many of those who suffer from the condition aren’t juveniles at all. Arthritis in college students is an issue that tends to slip between the wrists as most associate the disease as something that affects older people — or, at most, the serious athlete. 

Take advantage of modern technology

Among the most debilitating factors of having arthritis as a student is how badly it can impact one’s ability to write and type. Often, typing is far easier for those with arthritis because it requires less action from the wrists. 

Modern students have a major advantage here, simply due to the ubiquity of the laptop. Whenever possible, have your laptop with you in class, during study sessions, and whenever an opportunity might present itself for note taking. This saves you the need to take notes with a pen and paper, while also allowing you to keep up with a fast-talking professor. 

If your school has a resources center for any type of disability or issue, take advantage of it. A nurse or advisor onsite can likely provide you with tools to help you sideline arthritis pain during your classes and studies. 

And, if your school is big enough, the center may even be able to connect you with other students with arthritis with which to form a study group or share tips on certain aspects of college life that are particularly challenging.

Let your professors know about your arthritis in advance

We get it — no one wants to approach a professor they’ve just met and have to say, “Hey, I have this condition that might make it tougher for me in your class.” But think of it this way — you are likely not the first student with arthritis your professor has taught.

The professor might even be able to offer you pre-written notes, or otherwise make adjustments to make sure you are comfortable and successful in the class. 

This can also come in handy should your arthritis pain prevent you from making it to class on time, or even at all. Of course, we’re not encouraging you to take advantage of this and use it as an excuse to skip class after a night of partying — but should you need to rest, the option is there for you where it wouldn’t be if you hadn’t spoken up.

Maintain a consistent schedule and routine

One thing that many college students struggle with — especially in their first year of school — is building a routine. You’re on your own for the first time, far from home, and in close quarters with people whom you did not grow up with and probably don’t know very well. 

As such, people tend to get self-conscious of certain aspects of their daily lives. 

The more consistent you can be with waking up, studying and working, and involving physical activity into your days, the better prepared your body is going to be for arthritis and for anything else that may be thrown at you.

If you take medicine for arthritis pain, do so at the recommended times. Stay up on doctor visits and, as much as possible, exercise and get outdoors — following recommended exercises and stretches for arthritis will keep you in better shape and minimize pain.

This is particularly important if you’re going to school somewhere with adverse weather or noticeable season changes. Because arthritis tends to flare up during certain weather patterns, your ability to be prepared physically and mentally is going to make it easier to be prepared when pain strikes — and ready to take action.

Watch what you eat

We know — there’s a bit of a “free-for-all” aspect to being in college, and that tends to incorporate one’s diet as well. But with your situation, it’s important to monitor what you’re putting into your body in order to stay on top of your academic performance.

Our blog has many easy recipes and dietary tips for those living with arthritis, and we encourage you to check them out and bookmark the ones that call to you. 

In general, though, focus on foods that have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Dishes rich in olive oil like pasta are cheap and easy to prepare in a hurry, with the bonus of being perfect for bulk preparation — leaving you with leftovers for the next few days.

Do what you can to minimize inflammation resulting from your diet — fry eggs and other foods in olive oil instead of butter. Opt for salmon now and then. And, when the pizza comes at the end of the party or study session, make a mental note to follow up with a green salad the next day.

Try a supplement that actually works

To go further on the omega-3 fatty acids, your doctor may encourage you to add a supplement to your diet. An omega-3-rich supplement like GLX3 — built from New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels, New Zealand olive oil, and VItamin E oil — can be a great addition because they ensure that you get the recommended dose of omega-3s on a daily basis.

This helps you combat joint pain and inflammation with minimal effort — and with a delivery subscription, you don’t even have to remember to order every month. In a time of life filled with so much excitement and hectic days, how’s that for convenience?

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