There is a range of ways in which rheumatoid arthritis can compromise your quality of life. Feeling fatigued and losing appetite are both major nuisances - but for many people, the biggest bugbear with RA is quite simply the pain.
As there can be many types of RA-induced pain, relieving it might require more than one remedy. Here are some remedies that we would particularly recommend.
Rest and relaxation
While enjoying sufficient sleep is advised for everyone, it's particularly vital for RA sufferers. They should aim to sleep for a minimum of eight hours each night. If stress is hindering your attempts to sleep, you can make yourself more relaxed by following exercises in deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Meditation could also help, but if you are beset by insomnia, you should speak to your doctor.
If you are overweight, you should focus on shifting excess fat. In 2015, Arthritis Care & Research published a study where 93% of RA sufferers were using disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. That percentage fell to 59% a year following bariatric surgery. This suggests that if your weight was healthy, you could have less need for medication in treating your pain.
For someone suffering from RA, the prospect of getting active might not exactly excite at first. However, gentle exercises including walking, cycling, and swimming have been demonstrated to lower pain. Water aerobics in the warm water of a pool can be especially effective due to how kind the water is on the body. Nonetheless, you should resist exercising in the event of an acute flare. Furthermore, if certain workouts are worsening the pain, it’s best that you consult your doctor.
Creams, gels, and lotions
When you directly rub topical creams, lotions, and gels onto the skin covering your problem joints, the ingredients can be absorbed by the skin. As a result, minor instances of pain can be temporarily relieved. The relief could be at its strongest if you stick to products containing menthol, salicylates, capsaicin, or camphor. Topical ointments are available as sprays or patches.
Particular plant oils are believed to lower RA-associated pain and morning stiffness. Evening primrose oil, in which there is an essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid, may help. However, you should ask your doctor for their thoughts before you take plant oils; some could interfere with medications or hurt your liver. Headache, nausea, and diarrhea are among the possible side effects.
Heat and cold
Putting an ice pack on inflamed joints can assist in easing swelling, numbing pain, and relieving muscle spasms. If the muscles are tight and aching, you could soothe them with a hot shower or a warm bath. Applying a hot pack, like a hot towel or a heating pad, to a problem area can also help. You should seek guidance from your physical therapist or doctor before going for either hot or cold.
The effectiveness of massaging for treating RA is research-backed. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, in 2013, cited a study in which 42 RA sufferers were massaged weekly. Treatment lasting for a month left participants who had received moderate-pressure massages in less pain than participants who had instead been treated with light massages.
If your RA is advanced, it might be possible for surgery to rectify deformities and help diminish pain. More common than any other RA-treating surgical procedure is total joint replacement for knees, hips, and shoulders. Damaged tendons can be repaired with reconstructive surgery, while inflamed joint linings can be dealt with by a technique known as synovectomy.
Lab grade turmeric
You might already be familiar with the yellow spice known as turmeric. It can tackle RA fruitfully due to being anti-inflammatory. However, by opting for lab grade organic turmeric that has been CO2 extracted, you can enjoy a highly pure form of turmeric.
This type of turmeric is especially effective; you can get it in the form of an oil or pill. Due to the process of CO2 extraction, the turmeric will not contain any additives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
This type of therapy tends to be used for chronic and stubborn pain rather than as an initial treatment. TENS interferes with pain pathways and stimulates nerves through the use of low-voltage electric currents. If you would like to try it in an attempt to relieve your RA-induced pain, you should chat to your physical therapist, who will be able to point you in the right direction.
You might have previously seen lots of other remedies being recommended for use in treating anguish arising from RA. However, in this article, we have picked out many of what we consider the most worthwhile remedies. Therefore, we hope that we can help you to remove much of the ‘trial and error’ element of looking for remedies that truly work for you.