Little Things That Will Make Arthritis More Manageable
We know living with rheumatoid arthritis is not easy. The inflammation caused in the tissues result in swollen and painful joints. And the best way to fight the disease is with medication. And yet, as effective as these drugs are, they cannot do everything. Here are a few things you can do that might make living life a little easier.
10 Ways to Make Living with Arthritis a Little Easier
Use Hot and Cold Treatments
Use a hot water bag and ice pack to apply heat and cold to a painful area. Doing this alternatively can offer powerful relief and soothe your muscles and joints. Make sure not to overdo it though. And remember to talk to your doctor about using hot and cold packs safely.
Watch Your Posture
Having a good posture can make a world of difference. Slouching puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on your joints. This will result in more inflammation and ultimately more pain. If you practice good posture, it will strengthen your joints. This will reduce some of the pain.
Living with a chronic disease can be lonely, but being open about your struggle can help. It can give your friends and family insight into your pain. And having a shoulder to cry on makes a huge difference in how you feel physically and mentally. Online support groups and real life support groups are a great place to start. You can meet other people suffering from RA and share coping methods.
Consider Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy will make life a lot easier. An occupational therapist will help you stay independent. They will check what you need help with. And provide you with different ways to do it with as little pain as possible. If daily activities like bathing, dressing or cooking become painful then an occupational therapist will be able to show you alternative ways to carry out these activities.
Take Omega-3 Supplement
Several studies suggest that taking fish oil supplements can benefit people suffering from RA. Fish oil contains inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids. In fact fish oil may be as effective as pain killers. RA patients in these studies usually took high doses, typically 4 grams or four standard capsules a day.
Take warm bath or shower
A warm bath will help you relieve muscle pain. The moist heat will help in loosening muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It will also help in increasing blood flow. Taking a warm bath can be really relaxing. For maximum benefits, make sure to soak in the water for more than 20 minutes. Do a few stretches while you are in the water to further loosen tight muscles. And lastly, make sure the water is warm, not hot!
You do not need to have abs and protruding biceps, but losing any excess weight will help in reducing the pressure on your joints. Your joints are what have to support your weight. So putting more pressure on them will only aggravate the problem for an RA patient. There are lots of workouts you can do which will not put tension on your joints. If you haven’t worked out for a while, start slow and do whatever you can.
Give it a rest
Sometimes, it’s good to just rest. It will help you relax your mind, ease the pain and also help reduce the fatigue. So take the day off and do what makes you happy. Just remember to not overdo it. An inactive lifestyle can be really harmful for RA patients. Strike a balance between rest and active periods.
Acupuncture is a drug free way of relieving pain. This ancient Chinese medicine is said to release endorphins (the feel good hormones), thus relieving pain. It is done by inserting very thin needles at certain points in your body. Trust us, the needles do not hurt. Depending on your condition you might need to go for 5-10 sessions to see a significant difference. But you will feel really relaxed after every session, we promise.
Do Not Feel GuiltyThere will be days when you will have to let go of some tasks due to pain. And that’s okay, trust us. It’s not your fault if you are tired and in pain. Do the things you really have to and find different ways of getting the rest done. Please ask for help if you have to. We hope these tips will help you and make life a little easy.
- Flexable Health