Rheumatoid arthritis affects young and old people alike and is an inflammatory disease targeting the joints of the body. The inflammation primarily affects the lining of the joints, known in medical circles as the synovial membrane. This inflamed lining erodes the cartilage, bone and sometimes results in joint deformity. Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain and swelling in major joints. While no cure has been found, new drugs are becoming increasingly available to treat the disease and help with pain management. However, this does not mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars per month to manage RA pain. There are very effective home remedies available to help get your RA pain under control. Here are two things anyone can do at home without breaking the bank and live a more active lifestyle:
Temperature Response: Many studies have shown the efficacy of temperature induced pain management including hot and cold compresses. Cold compress application for fifteen minutes often helps to reduce synovial inflammation. Cold temperatures can be difficult on the skin and should be applied after thirty minute breaks. Heat therapy helps relax muscles and fosters blood flow. Start with a moist heating pad or warm towel. While many RA sufferers like using microwavable hot packs, there is a scalding hazard. Remember to be careful with the compress temperature. Hot showers may also help ease the pain by letting the warm water wash over the problem areas and a hot tub or spa is a great way to relax stiff muscles!
Dietary Response: Recent studies have shown that diets high in saturated fats may increase the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Watch out for foods high in saturated fats including steak, bacon, cream, and butter. Diets high in phyto-nutrients and contain fruits and vegetables, such as those found in Mediterranean cuisine may reduce the risk of contracting RA as well as helping to manage pain. Try a diet that incorporates large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish high in omega-3s fatty acids. If digesting these types of foods is a problem, over the counter dietary supplements can also go a long way to helping you live a more active life, despite your rheumatoid arthritis.