Five Must Dos in Rheumatoid Arthritis

ID-10040936Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is fairly common health problem among elderly individuals. Your adults are not immune to RA, although incidence is much lower, compare to elderly individuals. RA patients suffer from flare-ups, which are very painful, despite presence of number of medications to treat RA. Although there are number of medications available for treatment of RA, the outcome is still not satisfactory. Despite continued medications, flare-ups may occur and cripple the individuals during this time. Fortunately, there are ways that can help prevent/reduce flare ups and also prevent pain.

Following ways can help reduce pain and flare ups and one must do these things to avoid RA flare ups:

Protect your joints:

RA patients should always take measures to protect joints, even during symptom free period. Small things can help protect your joints such as holding books or other objects with your palm, instead of your fingers. Do not lift heavy objects, instead slide it. Instead of pushing open a door with your hand, use your shoulder. These small measures can help protect your joints.

Start doing exercise:

Regular exercise is important to keep your joints functional and keeping joint pain at bay. Exercise can also help elevate your mood and make you energetic. Consult your doctor before starting exercise to find out what suits you and which are not harmful. Walking, cycling, swimming, light training exercise etc. are useful exercises for RA patients. Start with mild exercise and gradually increase it. Avoid heavy exercise. If your pain persist for more than one hour after exercise, you should know you are overdoing you exercise. Do not exercise when your joints are inflamed and painful. Take a break during exercise if you feel pain. Use alternating position if you are cooking or gardening or doing similar activity.

Adequate rest:

Getting enough rest is important for RA patients. For adequate rest it is best to do exercise on alternate days to prevent fatigue. However, fatigue depends on personal endurance and one person’s fatigue situation may be just all right for another. Hence, know your limit and act accordingly. Avoid excess “rest”, as it may lead to sedentary lifestyle, which is harmful for RA patients.

Reduce your body weight:

If you are obese, it is very important to reduce weight. Because lower weight puts lesser pressure to joints, especially weight bearing joints. In obese individuals, fat tissues can increase risk of inflammation, which is not good for RA patients.

Warm bath:

Moist heat can easily penetrate and can of great relief from pain in RA patients, especially during flare ups. Instead of warm bath painful hands (joints of hands) can be soaked in warm water for pain relief. Moist pads can also be applied for 20-30 minutes for pain relief, during flare ups.

Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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