Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. It usually occurs when the healthy body tissues are attacked by the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple body organs. Upto date there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis; the treatments that are available are for managing the condition. Having a healthy diet, being involved in regular exercise, and having right amount of rest can be helpful in improving the quality of life. Disease modifying drugs and over-the- counter medications can help in relieving pain and reducing inflammation. There are natural home remedies that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Some of these treatments include:
1. Apply Heat and Cold
Heat and cold help in relieving pain and swelling when applied to the affected area. Heat also helps in easing stiffness of the joints. When performing the procedure avoid putting the ice directly to the affected area as this can cause ice burns, you should also be careful when applying heat as it can lead to more injuries causing more pain. If you are not sure of how to go about applying ice packs and warm towels on the affected are you can ask your physician, alternatively a hot shower in the morning or warm bath when going to bed can be helpful.
Massaging the affected area can help in making you feel comfortable and relaxed. This can be done using massaging oil. The massage should be gentle so as to avoid injuring the joints. If the massage is making you feel more pain you should stop it. It is advisable to massage yourself as this will help you know where to massage and how to massage it. If you prefer someone massaging you let it be a massage professional.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercising helps in reducing stiffness. Exercises also help in controlling weight, excess weight put pressure on the joints which can result to more pain. Exercises also strengthen the muscles which help in supporting the joints. The muscles also help in lubricating the joints making them to move smoothly. When you don’t exercise the synovial fluid becomes thick as gel which is not good for lubrication but when you exercise it becomes more viscous which is good for lubrication. Exercises that can be helpful include jogging, swimming, walking and stair climbing.
4. Anti-inflammatory Diet
Anti-inflammatory diet helps in reducing inflammation on the joints. Some of anti-inflammatory diet include ginger tea and turmeric.
5. Rest and Relaxation
Resting helps in protecting the injured area. It also helps in reducing the soreness that can be caused by activities. When resting you can place a pillow under the affected knee for comfort.
6. Take a Warm Bath Or Shower
A warm bath or shower can help in reducing stiffness and inflammation. You can take the bath in the morning and in the evening before going to sleep.
7. Fish Oil
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties which can help in reducing inflammation of the joints. Fish oil supplements can be found in medical stores.
8. Plant Oil
Plant oil such as eucalyptus can help in relieving pain. The eucalyptus oil has a cooling sensation which can help in reducing discomfort and easing pain.
9. Tai Chi
Tai chi helps in relaxing the general body. Tai chi can also be helpful in relaxing the aching joints which can help in reducing pain and inflammation. Tai chi can be practiced at home in a peaceful environment.
10. Stretch It Out
Stretching the affected knee joints can help in reducing stiffness. Stretching the joints should be gentle so as to avoid injuries
11. Mind Body Practices
Mind body practices such as yoga can help in making you feel comfortable. Yoga can in reducing inflammation and stiffness as it is a form of exercises. It can also reduce pain as the joints are relaxed.
12. Lose Weight
Being overweight put pressure on the joints resulting to pain. Cutting off some weight can help in reducing the pressure put on joints. Exercising can be helpful in reducing body weight. Exercises such as running, jogging, swimming, weight-lifting, stair-climbing and cycling can be helpful.
13. Take Time For Yourself
Ensure you have time for yourself so as to study your body well. Taking time for yourself can be relaxing and can help in relieving pain.
14. Targeted Supplements
Supplements can be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin can be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Other supplements that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, minocycline, oral corticosteroids and Hydroxychloroquine. Methotrexate and sulfasalazine are used to suppress the immune response while minoxycline is used for its antibiotic properties.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be managed if you take time to monitor yourself and avoid activities or habits that can trigger symptoms.