Rheumatoid Arthritis is a common type of autoimmune arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of smaller joints (like the hands and feet). There are treatments to reduce pain and inflammation, but as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Here are a few ways you can prevent RA from striking too hard.
Getting enough exercise is important. Exercise helps in strengthening the muscles and bones, delaying joint replacement and decreasing fatigue. Low-impact workouts like swimming, climbing stairs and walking can help increase bone and muscle strength. Practicing isometric exercises (which tense and relax muscles without actually making you move around) will keep you active, while keeping the pressure on your joints low. We’ve listed some low-impact exercises you can try:
Arthritis medication that contains the corticosteroid prednisone could interfere with one’s metabolism and result in weight gain. Unfortunately, it is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for RA inflammation. Also, it can be difficult for people with RA to move about enough on a daily basis, and this could lead to weight gain too. Because of their restricted mobility, they tend to put extra strain on their already worn out ankles, hips, spine and feet, thereby worsening their RA. Reducing the probability of weight gain through light exercises, yoga, and a balanced, non-inflammatory diet could greatly help RA sufferers.
Smoking may seem to reduce stress levels, but it definitely increases the damage done by RA. Here’s what smoking could do to you, in case you’re getting treated for RA or are at a risk of developing it:
It would be good idea to look after your joints if your family has a history of arthritis. But, your daily chores can’t be neglected. So, find a way to make them easier to do. For example, use your whole arm to lift things, instead of using only your fingers and wrists. Also, in case you have a painful knee or hip, use a cane in the opposite hand to help with your balance and reduce the wear and tear of your joints. Additionally, outdoor sports call for safeguarding your knees and elbows by wearing pads.
Easing stress is important when trying to prevent or deal with RA. Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation is caused partly due to molecules known as cytokines. These molecules are released due to a number of reasons, stress being one of them. Inflammation and pain, thus, get worse with stress. Taking steps to relieve it, like practicing yoga, light stretching, tai chi and mindfulness in your daily lives will help manage stress levels much better.
Eating a well-balanced, non-inflammatory diet proves to be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of inflammation and pain associated with RA.
Magnesium is required for bone and connective tissue construction. It can be included in your diet through soybeans, spinach, potatoes and whole grains.