Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune condition that is extremely painful by those who have it. The condition is characterized by someone’s immune system mistakenly believes that the joints are foreign invaders and attacks the joints. As a result, inflammation, pain, and deformity of the joints happen. Quite often the patients with the condition have to go on immunosuppressants to slow the condition down.
However, those who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have found hacks to help with easing pain and inflammation, and have helped them feel better as a result. Let’s go over those 10 small life hacks that rheumatoid arthritis patients swear by.
Wake Up Slowly And Stretch
It is common for patients with RA to wake up feeling as if they have been stiffened up as that adds extreme pain to them each morning. The best thing to do to help them minimize the effects of the stiffness and pain they feel each morning is to wake up very slow and to stretch gently as they do. It helps to minimize the stiffness and lessens the morning pain.
Pay Attention To The Body
Patients with RA need to really pay attention to what their bodies are telling them. If their bodies are telling them to stop doing any activity and to rest, then it is not wise to ignore the signs and to keep pushing. That will turn into a disastrous tomorrow. It is essential for them to stop and to rest as their bodies tell them.
Develop Good Sleeping Habits
It is hard for those who have RA to get a good night’s sleep because the pain keeps them awake. That is why it is important that they go to bed at a reasonable hour and develop good sleep hygiene such as avoiding screens two hours before bed and eating foods that will help promote sleep such as almonds, tart cherries, and even turkey. Sleep will help reduce fatigue and pain.
Heat And Cold Can Help With Pain Relief
Using heat and cold can help relieve pain in patients with RA. Warm water or a heating pad can help with pain and on the flip side, cold compresses and ice packs can help reduce inflammation. It is important to put ice packs or something cold on muscles after any intense activity to keep inflammation at bay.
Know The Foods That Cause Triggers
If you know of any foods that trigger flares then you will want to avoid them. It will take some pinpointing and testing, but if you link a flare to eating something, in particular, avoid the food in the future and stick to the foods that help you feel better.
Do Low-Intensity Exercises
It is important to keep up with low-intensity exercises so they can become more flexible and stronger. Exercise can help reduce fatigue and can help prevent loss of bone density and muscle mass. It is also good for the heart and good for staving off diabetes. Low intensity is walking, brisk walking for a good half-hour a day.
Meditation is a very helpful tactic as it can help relieve the stress that patients with RA experience from their pain. And meditation also can help neutralize some pain that these patients do experience. It is not the cure to pain by any means but it helps to lessen the severity of it, especially if it is a great way to manage stress.
Use Talk-To Text Apps
Pain is felt strongly in the fingers of RA patients. Therefore, they can become pained quite quickly and easily if they are typing for long periods of time. Instead, they can use talk-to-text apps which means they talk and the apps turn what they say into text. It is a great hack for those who need to type but struggle with joint pain.
Find A Support System And Lean On It
You need support when you have a chronic illness such as RA as it is easy to develop depression and anxiety. If you have a support system that will be there for you and listen to you, that will help keep your spirits lifted. It can be online support or a trusted friend. There are plenty of support groups for RA online.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Remember that you have a chronic illness and you are only doing your best to cope with it. Do not be hard on yourself and cutting yourself slack is the only way to really get through it. Remember none of it is your fault and you are doing the best you can.
If you have been diagnosed with RA, these hacks will help you manage it the best way you can. Stay well and be kind to yourself.