There is a lot of ongoing medical research, but there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as yet. You can do self help in addition to medication to improve quality of life by relieving pain and inflammation.
Taking healthy diet regularly, timely proper rest and doing regular exercises in addition to practicing stress management are your best bet against RA.
In Rheumatoid arthritis the lining of smaller joints like fingers and toes get first affected and then this chronic inflammatory disorder that usually affects the bigger joints like knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders resulting in bone erosion and joint deformity over a long period of time.
Following self care and home remedies will help you against Rheumatoid Arthritis flare ups.
Home Remedies for RA
Your aim here is to relieve pain and inflammation which can be achieved with a disciplinary approach towards the lifestyle.
1. Relax and Take Good Rest
Everyone should take at least 8 hours of good sleep. Normal healthy people sometimes can afford to sleep less for weeks and yet remain healthy and fit, but people with Rheumatoid Arthritis can't afford less or bad sleep during the night hours.
Usually sleep gets disturbed due to stress of any kind. Deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises can help you to sleep well. Other methods such as hypnosis and massage can help you to release tension and stress. Get rid of your insomnia, if you have it by taking help from your doctor and other alternative methods.
Sleep well at night is the mantra. A healthy nap during day time will also be useful.
2. Strengthen Your Muscles by Exercising
Since your joints are involved in the RA, use low impact exercises such as gentle stretching, brisk walking and swimming.
Exercise is important to increase joint range of motion. if the muscles around your joint are strong then the joint mobility will improve, which means less pain and inflammation.
it is important to check with your doctor who will suggest relevant exercises in your specific case to get faster and effective pain relief from RA.
3. Massage Your Joints
Massage your joint with herbal oils. The herbs in the oil when penetrate your joints give a temporary relief from pain.
Rubbing any skin gel or ointment that contains capsaicin, camphor or menthol produce quick results.
4. Hot and Cold Compress
Both hot and cold compresses have a different role to reduce pain in case of rheumatoid arthritis where your joints and muscles both can pain.
A cold compress helps reduce swelling of the inflamed joint. It also temporarily numbs pain.
- wrap an ice pack around the joint
- remove it after every 2-3 minutes to cover the joint for 20 minutes
- Dry the skin with a towel and apply Aloe Vera gel
If you muscles are tight or aching, then apply hot compress, take a hot shower or just relax in a warm bath tub. Use commercially available hot water bottles or heating pads are for ease of application of heat on the aching muscles.
5. Maintain A Healthy Diet
There are no specific RA diets, but there are certain food items that reduce inflammation. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Fishes and grains also reduce inflammation. Plant oils such as olive oil are effective in pain management.
Add all these ingredients in your daily diet. In addition to the food items add spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric to your daily diet to reduce pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Sometimes you may require assistive devices to stabilize the inflamed joint. Splints, braces and neck collars are common. You may also use canes and crutches to take weight away from the joints while walking.