Lifestyle Tips for Those Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease manifest by symptoms of inflammation and pain in the joints which can vary from mild to severe. Getting proper guidance and direction from your healthcare provider is crucial in helping treat and manage it.

The tips below are general guidance notes to support your journey in dealing with this condition.

Turn Up the Heat

Heat may help relieve joint discomfort and also stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning after a long night of inactivity.

 “Heat helps improve your pain tolerance and relaxes muscles, both of which can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis”. according to Harvard Medical School. “Heat treatment remains a standard part of the physical therapist's practice."

There are simple methods to heat up at home. Starting the day with a long, hot shower may relieve some of the stiffness, and using an inexpensive adjustable shower-head massager that can deliver a pulsing stream, may aid this. Also worth considering is the use of heat pads. Harvard Medical School recommends that we keep in mind that moist heat might be more efficient than completely dry heat, so using a microwave to heat a moist towel could be beneficial, but just make sure it is not too hot.

Get Moving

While the pain and stiffness that comes with RA might make stretching and physical activity sound like a poor idea, patients and specialists agree that the opposite is in reality true. The Rheumatoid Joint Inflammation Assistance Network (RASN) suggests light activities such as strolling as well as yoga can greatly help deal with a variety of activity issues and increase flexibility. Other low-impact activities to consider are swimming as well as the use of the treadmill or cross-trainer. RA patients can also practice stamina training to help increase muscular tissue toughness.

As is true for any individual, daily exercise can help RA patients from losing out in participating in an active lifestyle and avoid a worsening disabling condition and weight gain. Weight management is essential for RA, as being overweight places extra stress on the joints, the RASN notes. The Arthritis Foundation recommends additional arthritis-friendly workouts, including golf, Pilates, as well as tai chi.

To come close to a workout regimen in the presence of arthritis discomfort, the Centers for Illness Control (CDC) suggests complying with "S.M.A.R.T." ideas: Start reduced, go slow; Modify task when joint inflammation symptoms increase but try to remain active; Activities ought to be "joint pleasant"; Recognize safe places and methods to be energetic; as well as Talk to a wellness specialist or certified exercise expert.

The CDC likewise gives some guidance for pain management during and after exercise:

Make small adjustments at first, such as exercising for a  few days weekly or fewer minutes per session.

Switch to exercises that put less pressure on the joints (e.g., from walking to water aerobics).

Make certain to incorporate an appropriate workout and cool-down routine in your workout plan.

Maintain a comfortable speed while working out.

Use comfortable shoes.


Adhere to These Diet Regimen Dos as well as Don'ts.

Although there is no magic food that will positively heal RA, eating certain foods while getting rid of or minimizing the intake of others may assist relieve its signs and symptoms. Specialists suggest sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet plan as well as avoiding foods that trigger swelling.

Inflammation is the normal response of your body's immune system to injuries and harmful things that enter your body. Anti-inflammatory diets and a healthy lifestyle have become popular in recent years to help assist with treating the condition and help relieve the symptoms.

The recommended foods are typical of a Mediterranean diet with many plant-based foods being good sources of antioxidants.

A few of these foods consist of:

  • Green leafed vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale.
  • Fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries.
  • Fish with healthy and balanced fats, such as salmon or mackerel.
  • A moderate amount of nuts such as walnuts.
  • Olive oil.

On the other hand, certain foods may trigger or worsen an inflammatory reaction. The bottom line? Use sound judgment and common sense. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the foods we should avoid are the ones we see as "enjoyable" things. Below are some foods to restrict or avoid to decrease and fight inflammation:

  • Soft drink, "fruit" juices with added sugar, as well as various other sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Pastries
  • Fast food/fried foods.
  • Sweet breakfast cereals.
  • Candies
  • Red meat.
  • Processed meats.

Sleep is vital for a variety of health and wellness issues. Catching those zzz's every night enhances your chances of staying with a healthy diet plan and workout strategy.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Research shows that all mammals need sleep and that sleep regulates mood and is related to learning and memory functions. Not only will getting your zzzs help you perform on a test, learn a new skill or help you stay on task, but it may also be a critical factor in your health, weight, and energy level.”

Getting the proper amount of sleep and maintaining a proper sleep structure will certainly result in much less daytime sleepiness and assist in avoiding the possibility of having to grab a harmful sugar bomb for that mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

For further guidance please see the links below.