Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-Care Measures

Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, there are multiple actions you can take to care for this condition. While there is no cure for it, this type of arthritis can still be treated to ensure you can continue living your life with reduced pain. To properly care for it, your overall treatment plan will require the aid of at least one or more medical professionals, medication, and some coping mechanisms. Continue reading below and see how you can continue to live your life normally while having rheumatoid arthritis.

At-Home Rheumatoid Arthritis Care Treatment & Lifestyle

When you’re at home, evaluate how your typical daily lifestyle is performed. Maybe you’re doing something that’s putting stress on your wrists or other joints. In any case, make the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle in order to reduce the pain of your symptoms. Below are a few self-care measures that you can add to your daily lifestyle to properly:

  • Exercise – It’s important that you ask your doctor about exercises that can help alleviate your symptoms. Simple, gentle exercises can strengthen the muscles around your joints, which will help fight the fatigue you might feel. When you do decide to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle, start by first taking some walks. Try to avoid exercising severely inflamed and tender joints.
  • Apply Heat/Cold – Application of heat relaxes tense, painful muscles. When applying cold to your infected joints, you can dull the sensation of pain. Cold application also numbs and can reduce swelling.
  • Relax – Stress on your joints shouldn’t only be the area to focus on. Look over your daily lifestyle and think about what certain aspects of it cause stress in general. Emotional stress can cause you to tense up sometimes, further afflicting pain onto your joints. When you recognize what causes you stress, try simple techniques to put you at ease. Some examples include deep breathing and guided imagery.

Coping and support

Though not necessarily a direct factor, there is some correlation between rheumatoid arthritis and negative mental factors. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness are commonly followed after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. But there are ways to cope with your rheumatoid arthritis in order to properly care for it:

  • Take Control – Talk with your doctor to make a plan for managing your arthritis. When you learn how to manage it, you will feel in charge of your disease.
  • Don’t Push Your Limits –  RA can make you prone to muscle weakness and fatigue. If you’re tired, rest. So long as it doesn’t interfere with your sleeping schedule, a short rest or nap may help.
  • Reach Out For Help – Keep your friends and family aware of how you’re feeling. They might not feel comfortable asking about your condition even though they’ll feel worried. When you feel overwhelmed, talking to a friend or family member will help you cope.
  • Have Your Own Free Time – If you’re busy and become overwhelmed, take time off for yourself. Use this moment to discover what you like. Maybe this is a time to practice some art, listen to music, or write in a journal; anything to reduce stress.

Physicians & Therapists

All self-care treatment should be accompanied by a team approach with both physicians and therapists. Your doctor may recommend a physical or occupational therapist who will advise you to practice certain exercises for joint flexibility. The therapist will also suggest different ways of performing daily tasks in order to reduce pain. For instance, picking objects up with your forearms as opposed to with your hands.

Your therapist might also recommend that you use assistive devices to avoid adding stress to your joints such as kitchen knives with hand grips or buttonhooks to make it easier to get dressed.

Get Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated By The Professional Team of Traverso Hand

If you’ve just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to get evaluated by a rheumatologist. Severe disease may require you to see a Hand surgeon. The expert team at Traverso Hand has been regarded as the best hand treatment center in the South Florida region. Our expert team can help guide you, in collaboration with your rheumatologist, in managing your rheumatoid arthritis. We’re confident that with whatever hand condition you suffer from, Traverso Hand can treat it properly.  For any inquiries, you may call us at 954-575-8056 or visit our contact page.