There are several health conditions that are disabling and interfere with the person’s ability to lead a normal life. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of those conditions that is known to affect several joints in the body and cause chronic pain. This condition causes joint pain and inflicts damage throughout the body. An autoimmune disease, it causes damage to both sides of the body, which means that if joint in one of the arms or legs is affected, the same joint in the other arm or leg will be affected as well. This tendency of rheumatoid arthritis helps doctors distinguish between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by symptoms like joint pain, stiff joints, swelling on joints, and loss of joint function. In a nutshell, rheumatoid arthritis affects your motor skills as it makes walking around excruciatingly painful. Though there is no exact cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are several ways to bring the symptoms under control, which include the use of medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and corticosteroids. In addition to these medications, there are other ways that can help you coexist with this painful condition. They are as follows:
Get enough sleep
It can be difficult for people with rheumatoid arthritis to get a good night’s sleep as chronic pain can interfere with your sleep. However, it is essential for you to realize that sleep is not a luxury anymore, it is more of a necessity. Enough sleep will ensure your physical and mental well-being. When you sleep, your body works at regenerating and repairing itself, and with rheumatoid arthritis, this repair function is mandatory. So, do not skimp on your sleep and establish a regular sleep schedule and try to stick to it. You can even consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping.
Though people have reservations about exercising when they suffer from constant joint pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, exercise is known to help with the joint pain and stiffness. Exercise in this context doesn’t imply lifting heavy weights or running long distances. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, exercise involves stretching, low-impact aerobic exercises, and using light weights or special resistance bands to gently strengthen your muscles. In case you are skeptical about whether the exercise regime will benefit your or not, you can consult physical therapists and occupational therapists to teach you how to stay active in the right way without experiencing pain.
Consume more anti-inflammatory foods
As rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints, it is essential that you maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure on the joints. It is imperative to adhere to a nutritious diet that provides plenty of vitamins and minerals. Though there are no concrete proofs about how food helps in treating rheumatoid arthritis, it is believed that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help in easing the joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, adding foods that have anti-inflammatory properties to your diet can yield desirable results.
Learn to manage flare-ups
With rheumatoid arthritis, there are high chances that you will experience flare-ups often. Instead of despairing over the flare-ups, you need to learn the ways to manage them. You can work with your doctor to adjust the medications and get more rest but ensure that you continue being active as well. You can even seek help with daily tasks, use muscle relaxation techniques, or practice stress-relieving practices like using hot or cold press on the inflamed joints.