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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Four Ways to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

The symptoms of this rheumatoid arthritis differ from person to person, but it is often accompanied by stiffness, pain and swelling. While painful flare-ups can occur without notice, there are methods to help reduce and possibly prevent the pain.

Exercise

Exercise can play an important role in keeping joint pain under control. Cycling, light weight training and walking three times a week for 30 minutes are some examples of exercises that are frequently used by those with rheumatoid arthritis after consulting a physician. Those who have foot arthritis should talk to a physician to determine what might be a good amount of time for walking and how to increase that over time. Do not participate in any physical activity that involves heavy weights and do not overexert yourself. Overexerting yourself will make you feel worse. It is also advised that do not try to exercise when your joints are inflamed.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can provide much added relief from the pain. This is a natural remedy will help to stimulate the flow of blood and relax the muscles. Warm showers and baths are two things you can do at home. If soaking is not an option, you can use a warm compress. Compresses are ideal because they are flexible and can handle a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis in the neck. Whether you use a warm compress, heating pad or a damp towel, make sure that the water is not too hot.

Medications

Several types of medications can be used to treat this chronic inflammatory disorder. The drugs prescribed will depend on the progression of this disorder. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a common type of drug used. They reduce inflammation and pain. There are several over-the-counter forms of NSAIDS that include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Your physician can prescribe stronger NSAIDs if necessary. Steroids are another type of medication that slow down the progression of joint damage. Corticosteroid medications also reduce pain and swelling. Steroids are often prescribed to treat minor symptoms.

Change in Diet

There are many activities and medications available to help suppress rheumatoid arthritis pain. However, much needed relief is as easy as a change in diet. Eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce joint tenderness, pain and inflammation. Foods like walnuts, tofu and flaxseed products are high in omega-3 fatty acids. There are foods that rheumatoid arthritis patients should eat and those that should be avoided. Try to avoid sugar, it may increase inflammation and the temporary boost may lead to fatigue. Dairy products can cause irritation in the tissue that surrounds the joints and increase arthritis pain. While foods can affect the diet, there is no hard evidence about the actual effects that food has on this disease.

Over 1 million American are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. While there currently is not a cure, there are several ways for you to manage the disease. With the right management technique you can control the severity and occurrence of your flare ups.