There are some diseases that are quite unpredictable. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is just one of them. Like today, your joints may feel extremely well and painless. However, tomorrow, the pain and swelling may flare up, causing you to want to stay in bed all day.
The symptoms known as flares-ups may be both unpredictable and debilitating. The big question is, how do you cure this condition? Now, research for rheumatoid arthritis treatment options is still ongoing. However, there are ways you could treat your RA pain. Keep reading to find out some of the natural ways through which you may treat your rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
Being active is among the best things you may do for yourself, even when you have RA. Regular exercises are a great way of fighting fatigue, strengthening muscles, and increasing joint range of motion. Try gentle stretches, swimming, walking, and water aerobics. You should avoid high-impact sports and also take it easy if your joints are severely inflamed or tender. With exercise, you should know your limits. Your physical therapist or doctor could help you with that.
5. Enough Sleep
Sleep is very important in many aspects for everyone. Getting enough of it is particularly significant when you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, it’s advised that you should try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. A nap in the afternoon for when you don’t get enough sleep during the night may also help.
However, sometimes your sleep may be negatively affected by different factors. You may be overstressed, hence you may have a hard time falling asleep. In such instances, try the following tricks to help you relax: muscle relaxation exercises, deep breathing exercises, and guided imagery. Meditation, hypnosis, and massages can also help in easing tension and stress. Consult with your doctor for both a confirmation and treatment plan.
4. Creams, Gels, and Lotions
Another means of rheumatoid arthritis treatments includes the use of gels, creams, and lotions that you can directly rub into the skin to help relieve painful joints. As your skin absorbs the ingredients, you might experience temporary relief of the joint pain. Topical ointments are also found in the form of patches or sprays. But when you need the best results, go for products containing camphor, capsaicin, salicylates, or methyl.
3. Plant Oils and Fish Oil Supplements
A number of plants are thought to lessen pain, as well as morning stiffness linked with RA. For instance, evening primrose oil contains gamma-linoleic, an essential fatty acid which can provide some relief. However, studies regarding its effectiveness are inconclusive.
Note: You should consult your doctor prior to taking plant oils. This is because some of them may damage the liver or interfere with your medications. Also, find out about their potential side-effects.
Further, some few studies also show fish oil supplements may assist in reducing pain and stiffness. Consult your physician before adding fish oil supplements to your diet since they may not only increase the possibility of bleeding or bruising but also interfere with some medications.
2. Tai chi
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art combining slow and gentle movements with deep breathing and awareness. It will exercise your mind, body, and spirit. Researchers say that it has been recognized for centuries as a successful or effective therapy for arthritis. For instance, people with RA who practiced Tai Chi experienced a substantial improvement in their range of motion of ankles and joints of the legs. Ensure you take your lessons from an experienced instructor, and do not perform moves which might worsen your pain.
1. Heat and Cold
This is also another form of rheumatoid arthritis treatments. Just apply an ice pack to your inflamed joints to ease the swelling. The coolness may also assist in numbing the pain and relaxing muscle spasms. When you are experiencing tight and aching muscles, a hot shower or a relaxing warm bath may soothe it. You may also apply a heating pad or a hot towel to help in relaxing tense muscles and relieve stiffness and pain. You should ask your physical therapist or doctor for guidance when using heat and cold therapy.
Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts many people and the best advice is that you should listen to your body. You should be open to your doctor’s guidance regarding your symptoms. And finally, you should continue with the above 5 natural rheumatoid arthritis treatments until you get at least a little bit of relief.
Featured Image Source: Thinkstock/Suze777Posted on October 20, 2016