Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in joints, especially hands and feet, and results in swelling and pain. The cause is still unknown and there is no medicine that can help you get rid of the disease but you can learn how to live with it. Even better, you can keep an active lifestyle and continue doing everything you love! Below, we discuss the best ways to stay active with rheumatoid arthritis.
Simple home exercises lessen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and make you feel better. For example, you can do stretching (don’t stretch too hard, moderate stretching is enough) to relieve pain and keep your tendons flexible.
If you prefer swimming, bicycling, water aerobics, or walking, you can do them all to reduce pain and keep your muscles strong and flexible. Just make sure to check with your doctor before starting exercising.
The best way to reduce pain and swelling is to avoid stresses of everyday life. For example, you can support your joints and avoid stressful joint positions by using grab bars and canes. Besides, you should keep your weight in check because extra weight increases stress on your joints.
The main lifestyle change you should make is to let your joints rest. Allow yourself to have regular resting periods to help your joints. The balance of rest time and movement is necessary to prevent your joints from stiffening.
A healthy diet (not very strict, you can eat pretty much everything but in smaller portions) is always helpful. For example, some patients experience flare-ups after eating certain foods. A diet rich in healthy oils and proteins but low in red meat will reduce inflammation. You can also get calcium supplementation. Many rheumatoid arthritis patients also get an allergy testing to know what foods they should avoid.
Developing a healthy diet combined with relaxation results in a greater feeling of control over your disease and allows for an active lifestyle.
There are physical therapists out there that can teach you special techniques to reduce pain and help your joints and muscles get stronger. Proper treatment also helps increase comfort throughout your day.
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis varies depending on your condition. Most patients are able to maintain an active lifestyle with the benefits of rest, exercise, new lifestyle and proper medication.