Tips for Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Beyond medication, here are a few tips that may be useful when living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Exercise
• Increase muscle and bone strength
• Increases flexibility
• Releases endorphins that combat depression
• Increases and maintains flexibility

Physical therapy
• Helps identify and correct imbalances in muscles of the body
• Provides valuable information on how to treat pain such as icing and heating.

Occupational therapy
• Helps define a plan for daily exercise
• Gives practical ideas to accomplishing daily activities that are made difficult by pain

Complimentary Alternative Medicine(CAM’s)
Studies have shown that those who engage in these types of holistic activities, aid themselves in reducing pain, improving mental- well-being, and increase their overall quality of life.
Yoga
• Qi Gong
• Meditation
Massage
• Acupuncture

Nutrition
While there is no dietary cure for Ra eating a balanced diet can help reduce inflammation. Here are some suggestions.
• Fresh fruit and veggies of all colors
• Dark green veggies
• Foods rich in Omega-3’s such as salmon, herring, sardines, walnuts
• Whole grains such as brown rice
• Drink plenty of water
• Use alcohol in moderation and check for medication interactions
• Avoid tobacco altogether as it can speed up RA damage to joints

Sleep
• In our deepest state of sleep, Human Growth Hormone(HGH) is released. HGH helps the body to repair minor tears in the muscles and tendons
• Restores the immune system
• Thought to refresh the brain

Connect
• Avoid the urge to isolate yourself
• Communicate with family and friends about your illness
• Join an RA support group
• Seek counseling before depression gets out of hand

Sources:
1. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20436766,00.html
2. http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/ra-foods#1-2
3. http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/features/rheumatoid-arthritis-smoking-alcohol
4. https://www.tuck.com/stages/

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