Trusted individuals may be able to give you a recommendation for a good arthritis support group from which you may benefit. You can also choose from support groups that are either online or offline. You should also consider the size of the support group, as well as how you get along with the people in it. If you suffer from a certain type of arthritis, you may be able to find one that focuses on support for that type.
Finding an arthritis support group can usually be done with a little help from people you trust. Doctors and nurses are usually good resources, and they will often know about support groups in your area. Friends or family members may also go to a support group for arthritis sufferers. Going to a support group where you already know someone may help make you comfortable. If no one that you trust knows of a support group, you can usually find one in your area by contacting the Arthritis Foundation.
Arthritis patients can usually find good support in a group of fellow sufferers who meet regularly. Members are usually readily available for hugs or a shoulder to cry on. These types of groups, however, may be a bit difficult for some people to get to, especially if they are in severe pain.
An online arthritis support group, on the other hand, may be an option if you are unable to attend traditional support group meetings. If there are no local arthritis support groups or you are housebound, you could log onto the Internet and sign up for one of the several online arthritis support groups. These are typically easily accessible, and you can participate anytime, from anywhere.
The size of an arthritis support group may also have some bearing on whether it is a good fit for you. Large groups, with several people, will usually be a little less personal, but much more diverse than small groups. Small groups, on the other hand, will allow you to get to know the other members more intimately.
Visiting a few support groups, if possible, before choosing one. This will allow you to get to know many of the members. Experts recommend choosing an arthritis support group where you get along with and feel comfortable around the other members.
You may also feel more at ease in an arthritis support group that focuses specifically on one type of arthritis. Groups geared toward specific types of arthritis will usually be more sympathetic and understanding toward the particular challenges you face. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, you may want to choose a support group that focuses on that, instead of a group that focuses on arthritis in general. Support groups also exist for sufferers of osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritis that primarily affects the spine.