6 Tips for Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis / How to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain in 6 Ways

As of 2019, 1.3 million Americans have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The disease causes the body to release enzymes that attack healthy tissue, particularly in the joints.The enzymes dissolve the linings of the joints, causing pain. Many experience stiffness of the joints, swelling, and malformation of the joints and surrounding tissue, which impair movement and function. Apart from painful swelling of the joints, RA can have other symptoms like fever, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, swelling of the eyes, and bumps under the skin.

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Because the prevailing complaint from the disease is chronic pain, which can severely affect quality of life, here we list some ways that can help manage the pain caused by Rheumatoid arthritis.

1. Avoid Fried, Processed Food

Food that is cooked at high temperatures releases a toxin called Advanced Glycation End products or AGEs that cause inflammation. Because of this, cutting back on fried, grilled, or processed food can help ease joint pain. Try to eat more food that's steamed or poached instead.

2. Cut back on Salt

Salt causes your body's cells to retain more water, which then leads to inflammation. If you're on medication to ease the swelling from RA, this can cause your body to retain more salt, which then worsens the swelling of your joints instead of reducing it. Go easy on adding salt to your food, and reduce your intake of salt-laden fast food and ready-to-eat meals to be safe.

3. Avoid Tobacco

Smoking can actually increase your risk of developing RA, and can worsen it if you already have the condition. Tobacco smoke contains a lot of free radicals that cause arthritis and other diseases.

To make matters worse, smoking also keeps your RA medication from working.

4. Cut back on Booze

While drinking beer, wine, and malt liquor has certain benefits, taking these alcoholic beverages can worsen your RA if you drink too much. While alcohol can lower your risk of heart ailments, avoid drinking too much as this can spike levels of cytokines in your body, and increase inflammation in your joints.

5. Exercise Daily

Exercise done on a daily basis can improve joint function and movement. Moderate exercise can also reduce joint pain, as long as it's done gently and without using heavy weights.

You may think that exercise will worsen your joint pain and stiffness, but the opposite is true.Without exercise, your joints can become even more painful and stiff. Exercise is necessary to keep your muscles and your joints' surrounding tissues strong enough to support your bones.

By not exercising, the supporting muscles become weak and more stress is placed on your joints.Consult your doctor as to what sort of exercises you can do safely to help ease your arthritis.

6. Go for Hydrotherapy

Speaking of exercise, you can do more of them if you're in a heated pool. This is an important element of hydrotherapy. Another way to do hydrotherapy at home is to soak in warm water. If you don't have a bathtub, you can get a portable one that's safe and easy for arthritis patients to enter and exit.

Final notes

While there is no cure for arthritis, it's a condition that can be managed. You can manage the pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes doing moderate exercise, eating the right food, avoiding tobacco, cutting down on alcohol and using hydrotherapy.

These are only a few of the ways you can manage your arthritis pain, so don't rely on these measures alone. Combine these tips with proper medication and advice from your doctor.

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