Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be a very painful affair. It might mean living with and enduring chronic pain, fatigue and joint stiffness for years. It can even make you miserable for the rest of your life!
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the white blood cells attack healthy tissues, specifically the joints and cartilages, for no apparent reason. If you happen to be afflicted with this disease, you might be in for a very difficult time. But as with all other diseases, you can adopt several measures to help ease the pain brought by the symptoms of this crippling disease. Here are a few suggestions that may help you in handling the pain when a rheumatoid arthritis attack is in the offing:
Live a healthier lifestyle. It is never too late to start living healthy. Losing weight can be good for your joints - the less you weigh, the lesser the pressure on the joints and hence, you will feel less pain. So, start eating a healthy diet and get enough sleep to keep your weight at a healthier range.
Pop in a pill to reduce the pain - No matter at what stage your rheumatoid arthritis might be in, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen may help keep the pain and the inflammation under control. However, keep in mind that all drugs have a tendency to cause certain side effects. So, take caution in taking these drugs for they might just increase your risks of developing certain heart problems and may lead to gastrointestinal bleeding. Your best bet? Take acetaminophen. It can effectively do the job without the risks!
Stretch those joints! Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine because it greatly enhances your flexibility. When doing your stretches, stop whenever you feel a mild discomfort and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds before proceeding.
Try weight lifting - Making exercise a regular part of your routine may bring you tons of benefits. Performing moderate exercises such as weight lifting and aerobics can help ease mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In this case, weight lifting is an ideal exercise since it improves your flexibility, strength and balance thereby allowing you an increased capability in handling the symptoms of the disease.
Before doing your lifts, don't forget to do some stretching exercises. Start with 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. You can even begin your training without using any weights at all! Weights may be gradually added as your routine progresses. Lift the weights slowly and evenly to prevent doing any more damage to the joints and cartilages. Take things easy. Take a rest when your joints flare up to avoid adding any more strain to your already aching joints.
Try alternative therapy - Some people swear by the positive results of aqua therapy and Tai Chi in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Just remember to find a qualified practitioner before embarking on these routines. And as always, consult with your doctor first before doing any exercises.
Strive to learn more about the disease - Knowledge is power. To increase your fighting chances against rheumatoid arthritis, try to learn as much as you can about this disease. A large number of online as well as offline sources can give you all the information that you might need. When in doubt, ask your doctor to provide you with some reference on where to look for additional help.