Rheumatoid Arthritis is a painful disease.
Priority: Pain Management
In fact, pain is the chief complaint of arthritis sufferers. Managing that pain is paramount in treating the disease and allowing it’s sufferers to live a reasonably normal life.
Western Medication Path
The usual avenue for treatment of RA is pharmaceuticals. Your doctor will prescribe or recommend drugs that you can take to minimize the pain of arthritis, and most of them will give at least some relief of symptoms, but they do nothing to actually cure the disease. At best, they offer temporary relief from the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. The techniques I am about to offer you won’t cure the disease either, but they will help in most cases, and they have far fewer side effects than drugs do.
What can you Do ?
There are several things that you can do to manage your arthritis pain on your own, that do not involve drugs. One of the most effective ways to minimize joint pain is to keep active as much as possible. Exercising joints in a way that does not aggravate pain can be difficult, though. Gentle exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, or swimming can give you the benefits of movement without adding to your pain. Even if you do not schedule any specific time for exercise, you can help your joint pain by making sure you never give your joints time to “seize up”. This means moving regularly, even if it is just flexing your joints gently while sitting.
Heat Help, a Lot
Warm soaks and gentle massage of sore, swollen joints can be immensely helpful. Try soaking affected joints in warm water with Epsom salts for 15 minutes, and then rub in a rich hand cream – remembering to be gentle on sore spots – and by the time you’ve rubbed the cream all in to your joints, you’ve given yourself a gentle massage! Another option is to see a massage therapist regularly, as massage therapy can increase range of motion in your joints as well as reducing pain and swelling.
Eat for Pain Relief
Your diet can help greatly with arthritis pain. Eating a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (you will find Omega 3 fatty acids in eggs, many types of fish and seafood, and nuts, among other things) with plenty of vegetables, much less meat than the normal North American diet has, and fewer processed foods as well. If you can manage it, I recommend a completely organic diet, as recent research is indicating that foods containing pesticides of any sort interfere with our healthy gut bacteria, and healthy gut bacteria are essential for a healthy immune system. Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so anything that prevents the immune system from functioning normally must perforce be suspected as a cause, or at least an underlying factor in the development of arthritis.
Remember, the body you have is the only one you’re going to get, so taking good care of it is of utmost importance. Make that a priority in your life, and the rest of your life will see the benefits.