Those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) know how it feels to be affected by this condition. They feel stiff and face a lot of discomfort due to swollen joints, and tremendous fatigue. With time, these symptoms tend to get worse. Dealing with RA is not as difficult as most individuals consider it to be. Here are some tips to deal with rheumatoid arthritis:
No activity will make your joints stiffer and painful.—Indulge in moderate intensity aerobic exercise (150 minutes) each week. You can stretch and walk. Listen to your body and attend to any discomfort you feel.
Do not stop your pain medication. Take them on schedule and as prescribed. Most people do not take their medication schedule seriously. They wait until the pain attacks or become worse.
See a Doctor
Visit a doctor. Let him or her know how you feel. There may be alternative treatment available. He might change your medications, doses, suggest a therapy, etc.
Consider Physical Therapy
In most cases, doctors prescribe physical therapy to patients. This helps heal and strengthen body parts. Although short-term option, it gives a lot of relief from pain and discomfort.
RA flares can become worse with stress. You need to learn to manage stress to avoid discomfort and flares. Try doing yoga and meditation. Deep breathing also helps in reducing stress. Lowering stress will have a major impact on your life. It is suggested to add stress management techniques for maximum benefits. You need to add these into your daily routine.
Warm Bath / Shower
Moist heat offers respite from pain related to rheumatoid arthritis. It loosens ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It also increases blood flow. So take a warm shower or bath for relaxation. You may even buy moist heating pads available at pharmacies. Apply for around 10 to 15 minutes to get temporary pain relief.
Get a Massage
Light massages will help. This depends on how your body feels. Massage can make you feel good when the muscles and joints are tender. Light strokes can ease muscle tension related to joint stress. Hire a professional massage therapist who has experience in treating people with RA.
Focus on Diet that Help
Try avoiding nightshade veggies in your diet such as potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes. These are high in alkaloids and tend to trigger a flare-up. Alkaloids are actually chemical substances that promote pain and inflammation.
Try to Focus on Things you enjoy
Meet friends. Also, join an online support group to connect with people who understand your problem and know your pain. They too are going through the same thing.
Take a Break
Consider taking a breathing break. This process involves tuning in to your breaths. Start breathing in and out, as you would do normally. All you need to do is simply pay attention to each one. Let any other thoughts go and divert your focus on your breath. This is the simplest way to calm down. Doing this exercise even for a few minutes a day will also help.