Managing Holiday Stress with Arthritis
Holiday stressors can influence people with rheumatoid arthritis in other ways. People may overtax their bodies, and especially their joints, by taking on too much during this busy season.
- Budget your energy. People love going to holiday parties and seeing family and friends, but many still have to go to work and get enough rest. Save energy for things that you want to do, and also for things that you’ll have to do!
- Make adjustments. Many people are pretty detail-oriented and cook from scratch. But after the first holiday season with RA, you might want to consider buying pre-cut vegetables to save energy.
- Plan holiday travel carefully. For many, holidays mean a time to travel long distances to be with family. Traveling has a whole bunch of other considerations and things to prepare. Consider traveling for only one of the holidays, and stay home for the other.
- Enjoy local get-togethers. When some patients aren’t up for traveling, considering spending holidays with friends. Sharing the preparations with friends is a great way to make sure that you’ll have enough energy to actually enjoy the day.
- Meet new people and reconnect with others. Churches and community centers have group dinners that are welcoming to all. Reach out to relatives and friends.
Sometimes flare-ups can’t be avoided, no matter how hard you try. If you start to feel increased pain, take action and call your doctor right away. By budgeting your time and energy, you should be more able to enjoy the next round of holidays.
Dr. Kelly Cunningham
Sports can be rough on joints and cartilage, especially shoulders, knees, and hips. Kelly Cunningham, MD, has cared for many young and mature athletes whose joints take a beating day in and day out. He welcomes patients from Austin, Texas, and its surrounding communities to experience the cutting-edge technology and skill offered by his team at Austin Ortho + Biologics.
Dr. Cunningham works with each athlete to develop an individual treatment plan that emphasizes the least invasive treatments possible with a goal of minimal recuperation and downtime. He combines rigorous standards and quality of care with experience and insight, integrating the best new techniques into the care of each patient.
His patients have included skilled athletes in football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, including members of the Dallas Cowboys at their Austin training camp, Austin Ice Bats hockey players, Southwestern University athletes, and many other colleges and high school athletes. He served for 15 years as a traveling team physician for the men’s alpine downhill US Olympic Ski Team, providing on-the-hill medical race coverage in North America and Europe, including qualifying races for the Winter Olympics.
As a sports medicine specialist, Dr. Cunningham also treats many seasoned weekend warriors such as runners, skiers (downhill, snowboard, and water), and tennis and golf enthusiasts.
After medical school and residency training in Dallas, he completed a sports medicine/knee fellowship with renowned orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado, and underwent further shoulder training in England and Canada.
While with Dr. Steadman, the originator of the popular microfracture cartilage treatment technique, he developed a strong interest in the care of cartilage injuries and now has more than 20 years of experience with surgical microfracture and related procedures. In recent years, he has closely monitored cutting-edge techniques as they’re developed for use in these acute and chronic problems.