If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may experience flares during which symptoms are especially severe. While your rheumatologist can work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan, you can also make lifestyle modifications that may ease your symptoms. Here are a few tips you may find helpful.
Stress triggers the body’s inflammatory response. Since inflammation is the cause behind joint damage in ra, you’ll want to find healthy ways to manage your stress. Consider trying relaxation techniques like meditation, journaling, and yoga. You might also find that joining online support groups help you control stress.
Exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do when your joints are sore and inflamed. Yet, joint-friendly activities like low-impact cardio, including walking, cycling, and swimming, can alleviate joint pain. Plus, physical activity will help to maintain joint mobility. Stretching and strengthening moves can also help to keep your muscles limber and strong.
Load Up on Key Nutrients
Certain nutrients may help control your RA symptoms. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with a reduction in inflammation. A Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains, is recommended to control inflammation and boost overall health.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight will be a natural byproduct of regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Keeping excess weight off is especially important for people with RA, as being overweight will add stress to already taxed joints. Moreover, controlling your weight can lead to better odds of remission. Since fat cells release cytokines, which trigger inflammation, being overweight can worsen symptoms.
Adapt your Daily Routine
During flares, you may find yourself needing to adjust your day-to-day routine. Make plans so you can break up tasks over several days if you’re feeling fatigued. If any activity requires you to stay in the same position for extended periods, try to dedicate no more than 30 minutes at a time to it. Incorporate naps into your day whenever possible, too. You can also use chairs for tasks like meal prep and showering to reduce stress on your joints. If you work at a desk, invest in supportive, ergonomic furniture, use a headset to avoid bending your neck unnaturally while on the phone, and make sure your desk and chair are aligned properly to support good posture.
This post was written by a medical professional at stemedix inc. At stemedix we provide access to regenerative medicine for the joints, also known as stem cell therapy for joints! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.