The pain that comes with living with rheumatoid arthritis can be very hard to live with, but it isn’t going to go away. However, you can make it more manageable and you can do things to help ease the stress and pain. Below are ten ways to minimise the rheumatoid arthritis pain you experience.
1. Protect your Joints
Always giving your joints the protection and care they need is a good place to begin. Even joints which are entirely free of pain and not suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should be treated with care. Keep your joints in mind at all times, even when doing the smallest tasks. Avoid lifting and slide and push things wherever possible and hold books flat in the palms of your hands, rather than gripping them in your fingers.
Exercise can be key to keeping arthritis pain under control. It can also help to boost your energy and improving your mood. It is important to keep it balanced and not throw yourself into anything too intensive and people living with rheumatoid arthritis are not likely to benefit from weight lifting and similar exercises. Short periods of light exercises such as walking, swimming and cycling are a good idea.
3. Get Some Sun
Research published in the Psychosomatic Medicine Journal found that people exposed to natural sunlight after surgery used 21% less pain medication than patients who were in sunless rooms. This is a principle you can apply to managing your pain too and sunlight can actually help to decrease stress and pain in the body.
4. Invest in Massage
A thirty-minute massage may seem like an indulgence but if you get the right massage therapist who understands you condition then it could be hugely beneficial for your pain levels. Massage can bring down levels of cortisol in the body which helps to both reduce stress and can block the body’s inflammatory response.
5. Enjoy a Warm Bath
A warm bath or even a shower is a particularly effective way of penetrating the pain that comes from rheumatoid arthritis. For sore hands, you can simply immerse them in warm water and additionally it is possible to by moistened heating pads from pharmacies around the UK. 10 to 15 minutes of temporary pain relief can be provided by these pads.
6. Consider a Walking Stick
Some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of a cane or walking stick but if it eases your pain and makes it easier to be independent, it is a great investment. A good cane will take up to 20% of your body weight of your legs and hips, reducing the stress on your joints and in turn, hopefully the pain.
7. Stretch and Stretch Again
If you’re in a good patch and are pain free then stretch all your joints as much as you can, to a level which doesn’t cause pain. You should be able to get medical advice about the right stretches for your condition and the more your warm up your joints and help them stay flexible and mobile.
8. Lose Weight
If you are overweight by even the smallest amount you are putting pressure on your joints. Your weight-bearing joins in particular will have to take more pressure and fat tissue has also been found that fat tissue may actually produce chemicals which can increase inflammation.
9. Plan Carefully
It is not always possible to tell when a flare-up may occur and make your joints become stiff and painful. However, you can minimise the risk of flare-ups to some degree by being careful with your time and planning your activities with care. Anything that can be split down into several smaller tasks should be broken down and when it comes to that all-important exercise, even ten minutes can be enough.
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis really feel the benefits of topical creams and gels. Rubbing a gel or cream directly onto the skin can provide almost instant relief in both pain and inflammation. It is only temporary relief and only really useful for minor pain but it can make a difference to your day to day life.