Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life. Medications can help manage symptoms, and some people also benefit from natural remedies. Although research into medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is ongoing, there’s no current cure for this condition. A chronic inflammatory condition, rheumatoid arthritis can cause stiffness, pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in joints, most commonly in the joints of the wrists, hands, and feet. It may eventually cause affected joints to become damaged, misaligned, and misshapen. Many natural remedies can also help you tackle the symptoms of this condition :
If you’re experiencing tight, aching muscles, a relaxing warm bath or hot shower can soothe them. You can apply a hot towel, a heating pad, or other hot pack to help relax tense muscles and relieve pain and stiffness. You can also apply an ice pack to inflamed joints to help ease swelling. Cold can also help to numb pain and relax muscle spasms.
Regular exercise is a great way to fight fatigue, strengthen muscles, and increase joint range of motion. Gentle stretching, walking, swimming, and water aerobics are usually good low-impact choices. Avoid high-impact sports and take it easy when joints are tender or severely inflamed. Stretching the muscles around the affected joints can provide some relief from RA symptoms.
Fish oil contains beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and can help you tackle rheumatoid arthritis. The beneficial effects of fish oil might be due to its ability to significantly decrease levels of interleukin-1 beta, a protein present in the body that has a role in eroding bone and cartilage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Getting enough sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for those with rheumatoid arthritis . Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Taking a nap during the afternoon, if you don’t get enough sleep at night, can also help. If your sleep is being negatively affected because you’re feeling overly stressed, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation exercises can help you relax. Hypnosis, meditation, and massage may also help ease stress and tension.
Topical creams, gels, and lotions can be rubbed directly onto the skin to help ease painful joints. As the skin absorbs the ingredients, you may experience temporary relief of minor joint pain. Topical ointments can also come in spray form or patches. For best results, look for products that contain capsaicin, salicylates, camphor, or menthol.
Green tea is known for its potent anti-inflammatory effects and may help tackle rheumatoid arthritis too. Research indicates that a phytochemical known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) present in green tea can inhibit a signaling protein known as TAK1 which plays an important role in the tissue destruction and inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that combines slow, gentle movements with awareness and deep breathing. It exercises the mind, body, and spirit. One studyTrusted Source suggests that tai chi may improve function in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Meanwhile, yoga may reduce the number of swollen and tender joints and also improve physical function.
Inflammation is a main characteristic of RA, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce symptoms. Research published in 2015 studied the effects of a plant-based diet on levels of a protein known to cause inflammation. The researchers concluded that a vegan diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds significantly reduced systemic inflammation in participants.
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