A woman sits comfortably on an open book and reads words that float off the page

Reading Books and Pain Management

Ever since I was young, reading books has always been one of my hobbies. Now that we're all stuck at home in the middle of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to fall in love with this hobby again.

Surprisingly, more than the fact that it has kept me busy, looking back now, I can positively say that it has a positive effect on my pain management.

The comfort of books

A few months after I was diagnosed with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, I would just spend most of my time either on my phone scrolling through different social media applications, or watching re-runs of Friends on Netflix, sometimes even both.

There was a time where I struggled to fight. I refused to take my medications on time, ate junk continuously, stayed in bed, and didn't want to go out of the room.

One day, as I was walking to my room, I passed by my bookshelf, found my old books, and took a familiar one which I considered as my comfort book. Little did I know that it will jumpstart my journey of pain management through reading.

How psoriatic symptoms hindered my reading

Since I have psoriatic arthritis, my joints would ache constantly, and it was difficult for me to carry the book or even to lift my fingers and turn the page. Another symptom that I've struggled with is uveitis which is an inflammation in the middle layer of the eye causing eye pain and dryness.

The aforementioned symptoms made it difficult for me to continue reading a physical book which is why I decided to invest in an e-book reader.

The one that I bought has a type of paper display technology that is pretty much like ink on a page of a book. As claimed, this causes much less eye strain as compared to other devices because it doesn't reduce our blink rate.

As a healthy distraction

Although reading as a hobby hasn't directly caused an improvement in my psoriatic symptoms since I still am dealing with so much pain and itchiness, among other things, I am certain that reading has helped me deal with it.

I noticed that it was easier for me to manage my symptoms because I used reading as an escape. It was a successful distraction whenever I am in pain. Back then, I used to be so overwhelmed with so much pain that I would cry and refuse to move.

When I decided to read again, I found a reason to wake up in the morning, I had something to look forward to, and I was thrilled to experience the happiness and excitement brought about by reading fiction and nonfiction books.

Now, if I find myself in a tough spot, whenever I want to itch my skin off, or whenever I feel like crying due to so much pain, I turn to my books or my e-book reader for an escape. The relief might be brief and temporary, but as of now, it's all that I have, and it's enough.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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