RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) is a painful condition which can lead to disability in severe cases. It is estimated that more than a million people in the US suffer from this autoimmune disease which targets synovial joints, resulting in inflammation and damage to cartilage. Here are a few tips that will help you deal with the pain and damage caused by RA.
Be careful about stressing your joints
Since joints are mainly attacked by RA, you need to be careful about them, even those that don’t show symptoms of being affected. Small actions like avoiding lifting things, using your hands to grip things instead of your fingers and not stressing your wrist can significantly help you.
Eat foods rich in omega 3
Fish, particularly Salmon, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are shown to reduce inflammation, a major cause of pain in cases of RA. Moreover, omega 3 is shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases, which are more likely in patients of RA.
Treat your joints with heat and ice
Using heating pads or ice packs can bring relief to swollen and inflamed joints. Try alternating between the two treatments and consult your doctor for the best methods.
Get moderate exercise
Physical activity is not only good for your overall health but also helps you deal with joint pain. Light exercise for about 90 minutes per week should benefit you, but you should consult your doctor for advisable workouts. It is important that you try and protect your joints throughout all exercises and take regular breaks.
If you don’t have disabling pain, you should ask your doctor for stretching exercises that can benefit your joints. Patients suffering from RA can experience stiff joints, which can be relaxed with a warm shower. Loosening up early in the morning can help you get through the day without much pain.
Smokers are much more likely to contract RA, and if they already have it, the habit can worsen the symptoms. Smoking is shown to lead to further joint damage and aggravate the pain and degradation. If you find it hard to quit completely, you should immediately cut back and aim to get off cigarettes as soon as possible.
Take part in water aerobics
Water is excellent for exercising with joint issues. There is no stress on the joints and limited resistance, which can lead to more effective workouts with minimal movement. You should consult your local community center to find out when water aerobics sessions are conducted for RA patients.