Alternative Therapies To Cope With Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain (RA)

The most common autoimmune disorder I know is Rheumatoid Arthritis. This inflammatory condition causes pain and swelling in the joints, especially hand and feet joints. Usually, the symptoms of this autoimmune condition come and go during a lifespan and it varies from one person to another.

Dealing with RA is difficult because the pain can be unbearable most of the time and can stop you from doing common daily activities. Sometimes, tying your shoelaces can be a very hard task if you suffer from rheumatoid hand arthritis.

However, the symptoms of RA can be reduced considerably with natural treatments that may range from moist heat, magnets and massages to herbs and natural supplements. Anyhow, before trying one of these natural remedies you should talk to your doctor first.

1. Exercises

Exercising with RA can be a though task because it forces you to use those painful joints, but, on the other hand, a set of low-impact exercises and stretches may improve a lot your condition. Here you can find some easy-to-perform stretches for RA.

2. Mind-Body Therapies

Certain types of exercise—such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi—also encourage you to focus your mind in ways that can help you cope with pain, and improve strength and flexibility at the same time.

Studies suggest that meditation and tai chi may improve mood and quality of life, and there’s evidence that mind-body therapies are helpful for chronic pain and other types of arthritis as well.

A 15-minute hot bath or shower can help you relax and soothe painful joints and muscles. You can also try applying heat to an area with a heating pad, or chilling out with an ice pack or ice water. Alternating hot packs with cold ones can also offer powerful relief.

But as with exercise, don’t overdo it!

3. Massage

Your body will tell you if you are in need for a massage or not! Sometimes, a simple massage can be relaxing and pain relieving and other times can cause more pain than you’re already experiencing.
If your joints and muscles aren’t feeling too tender, it can be very beneficial in easing muscle tension related to joint stress, and just helping you relax and feel better. You will be the best judge of whether massage can help you on a particular day, or not.

4. Rest

One of the most important things for you to do if you have rheumatoid arthritis is not to overdo it. When you need a rest, take it. Pushing yourself too hard can only make fatigue worse.

5. Drink Ginger Tea

Doctors say that ginger can mimic NSAIDs, the front-line drugs for arthritis pain relief. Make your own ginger tea by simmering slices of ginger for 15 minutes in a few cups of boiling water, or buy ginger tea bags at the supermarket.

6. Wash Dishes By Hand

This simple kitchen task soothes hands experiencing arthritis pain. How does that work? First, dipping your hands in hot water can help relax muscles and joints and relieve stiffness. Second, the exercise of gripping and spongeing helps keep your hands and fingers mobile, which also helps with joint pain relief.

7. Make Your Own Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, is an ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relief ointments. When dealing with RA you need a lot of topical ointments and most of them are a bit expensive. Hence, you can prepare your own capsaicin ointment.

8. Give Joints The Cold-Hot Treatment

You’ll need two containers for this treatment—but the relief is palpable and worth the trouble. Fill one container with cold water and a tray of ice cubs; the other with hot water at a temperature you can tolerate to touch. Starting with cold, immerse the aching joint for a minute, then switch to the hot water and immerse for 30 seconds. Keep switching from cold to hot for about 15 minutes, immersing the affected joint in each for 30 seconds each time. Finish with cold water and hold for a full minute.

9. Topical Ginger Poultice

Applying crushed ginger over the painful joint works as well as capsaicin.
Grind 3-inch ginger root. Mix it with just enough olive oil to form a paste, and then apply it to the painful joint. Depending on where the pain is, you may need to wrap the paste in place with a gauze or a length of ace bandage. Leave in place for 10-15 minutes to allow the ginger to penetrate deeply into the skin.

10. Stay Out In The Sun

Many patients suffering from RA have a lot of vitamin D deficiency responsible for the the production of collagen in the joints. So, anyone knows that standing out and soaking some sun will increase, naturally, the vitamin D intake.

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