Rheumatoid arthritis is an unpleasant autoimmune illness. It results in body tissues being recognized as invaders by the immune system. The tissues then get attacked which results in inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect all parts of the body but usually targets legs, arms, hands, and fingers.
While not entirely curable or preventable, you can do a lot to reduce the risks of its progression.
With simple exercises and lifestyle changes, you can also counter rheumatoid arthritis’ effects and make it more bearable.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of this illness is unknown, and anyone may get it. However, there are certain risk factors which are believed to contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis including:
- Bacteria, fungi, and virus infections
- Genetics (hereditary)
- Silica mineral exposure
- Chronic gum diseases
The symptoms may appear and disappear, depending on the state of the tissue inflammation. Once the swelling subsides, the disease becomes temporarily inactive until it becomes active again. This process is called relapsing.
When the disease is active, it is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Muscle and joint ache
- Loss of appetite and energy
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
While there are various complementary therapies and over-the-counter products that can reduce inflammation and relieve pain, there is yet no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. The best treatment is the one that you can do.
1. Physical Therapy
Regular balanced physical activity can help you strengthen your muscles and get rid of fatigue. It is also good for the brain. Are you wondering what kind of exercises to go for?
- Water aerobics and swimming
If possible, this is one of the best treatments. Water does miracles for a body when a person is stretching and exercising in it.
- Hand and fingers stretching
Exercise #1: Keep your wrist straight and bend your fingers, one by one, so that they will touch the palm. Once it’s bent, hold it in that position for 10 seconds. You can help in bending them with your other hand. Repeat the process numerous times with all fingers.
Exercise #2: Straighten your hand and point the fingers upward. Slowly bend them down and touch your palm with the tips. Hold them in this position for 10 seconds but avoid making a fist.
Exercise #3: Straighten your wrist and make your fingers point upward. Make an ‘O’ by connecting the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat ten times per day.
- Kairali’s Kairtis Oil massages
The Ayurvedic joint pain relief oil is made from the best natural herbs. Combined with methodical massages, Kairali’s Kairtis Oil is beneficial for relieving joint pain. For best results, it is advised to massage the affected area for 15 minutes with five to six ml of this oil.
Sufficient rest is necessary to keep the body healthy. For those experiencing rheumatoid arthritis, minimum eight hours of sleep per day is required. Having troubles sleeping enough? Take afternoon naps while listening to relaxing music.
Have you ever felt like stress is controlling your life and filling you up with negative emotions? Don’t let it anymore. Find ways that help you relax and stick to them. Some people perform deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation to relax. Others may consider resting while listening to e-books or music. You are also suggested to take short walks, preferably in nature.
4. Healthy Diet
Highly processed foods such as sugar, vegetable oil, refined grains, and artificial additives can worsen the effects of the diseases. Make sure you eat nutritious food and include vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.
Additionally, consume sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids. You are also advised to take the supplements if you can’t obtain enough of them from other sources.
- Start treating the condition as soon as it is discovered for best results.
- Work on your lifestyle and live healthier. Avoid smoking, junk food, and excessive physical activity or inactivity.
- Monitor the progress and find out which solution works best for you.
- Discuss alternative treatment options with a rheumatologist.
Having to deal with a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis is no easy job. However, it is also not a reason to give up. While there is no cure for it, you can do a lot to combat its effects and learn how to handle it better.
From changing your lifestyle and physical therapies to resting and relaxing, there are various treatments waiting for you to try them out. With some patience and perseverance, you will soon be able to get a hold of your condition and manage it better.