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Approximately 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and women are nearly three times more likely to suffer from it than men. It is a long-term condition that causes stiffness, swelling, and pain in the joints. If you have recently been diagnosed and are trying to find new ways to manage your pain more effectively, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, there are some basic rules you should follow, which will ensure that you can still live life to the full. Read on to find out more.
Ensure You Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is important for everyone, but even more so when you suffer from arthritis, as this is when your body repairs itself. It is crucial for your mental and physical wellbeing, but it can be difficult to drift off when your joints are causing agonizing discomfort. For this reason, it helps to establish a healthy nighttime routine from the outset. We should all be aiming for 8 hours of sleep per night, but you can achieve this by establishing a set time to go to bed and wake up each day. Taking a warm bath before you go to sleep can help relieve any pain you are in, making it easier to drift off. If you have difficulty staying asleep, consult your doctor as you may need sleep medication.
Make Exercise a Priority
Exercising may not seem like something that will help when you are in pain, but it can actually significantly reduce your symptoms. Regular low-impact exercise is what you should be aiming for, as this helps to strengthen muscles and joints, release endorphins, and increase your range of motion. If you can, try to incorporate various types of exercise, including flexibility, strength training and aerobic activity. The most important thing to remember is to not push yourself too far; listen to your body and stop when you feel you have done enough.
Use Assistive Devices Where Necessary
Research has shown that using assistive devices when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis significantly improves your psychological wellbeing. There are many different gadgets and devices out there that you can use to help you get around the house, cook, write, drive…the list goes on. If you previously enjoyed regular trips into town and visiting friends but your RA now limits the distance you can handle, why not look into mobility scooters? There are so many to choose from and some can even travel over 40 miles on a single charge! As well as this, consider rearranging your house layout so that it makes it easier to move around. Can you move your bedroom downstairs, clear walkways of any furniture, add handrails to the shower or tub? Simple steps like these can make the world of difference.
Eat a Diet Rich in Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Sleep, exercise, and diet are all key components to a healthy body, but what kind of diet should you be eating if you want to ease your RA symptoms? Your diet should be rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy green vegetables, fatty cold-water fish, and plant-based foods rich in antioxidants. Examples include broccoli, kale, spinach, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed strawberries, cherries, and blueberries. A healthy balanced diet full of all the right vitamins and minerals will also help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is extremely important when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight can, unfortunately, worsen your symptoms and cause any medications you are taking to be less effective.
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be devastating, but there are many things you can do to live better.
This list is just a rough guide, and nothing in this review should be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.
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