Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Five ways to manage joint pain and flare-ups

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Five ways to manage joint pain and flare-ups

Arthritis affects around 10 million people, young and old, in the UK.Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, and symptoms include inflammation in and around the joints, warm, red skin over the affected joint, and weakness and muscle wasting.While there is no cure, there are ways proven to ease pain and other symptoms.Arthritis Foundation has five ways you can manage joint pain and inflammation without resorting to painkillers. Protect yourself against infectionHaving an autoimmune disease, and treating the condition with some disease-modifying drugs, weakens your defences against viruses and bacteria, so you’re more likely to get an infection, which can trigger an arthritis flare, according to Arthritis Foundation.It adds: “Get up to date on your vaccines and don’t forget to wish your hands frequently and avoid close contact with or sharing food and drinks, with people who are sick.”Remember to restWhile keeping moving has been proven to help joint inflammation, sometimes the best thing you can for your arthritis is rest and allow your body to recharge.Arthritis Foundation states: “Finding balance between activity and rest is especially important during a flare.” 10 foods to reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms Wed, November 8, 2017 Rheumatoid arthritis: Foods to reduce arthritis symptoms and pain. Play slideshow The best foods for reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis But don’t stop completelyGiving yourself a break with rest does not mean stop moving, as you don’t want your joints becoming stuff.“Move them through the fullest range of motion you can manage,” says Arthritis Foundation.“You can so something as simple as slowly raising and lowering your legs while seated comfortably. Just be sure to pace yourself and don’t overdo it.“If something causes you more pain, stop immediately.”Get into good sleep habitsStudies have shown that poor sleep habits can not only worsen pain but can also increase inflammation.Arthritis Foundation says: “Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or struggle with chronic daytime sleepiness, some simple tips can help.“Sleep on a regular schedule, avoid caffeine before bedtime, sleep in a cool, dark room and turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed.”Apply hot and cold compressesThese can help ease the pain of an arthritis flare.Arthritis Foundation says: “Heat soothes joint pain by increasing blood flow to the painful area and relaxing the muscles.“Cold eases inflammation by constructing the blood vessels. It lessens pain because cold sensations travel along large nerve fibres an helps to disrupt pain sensations.”The non-profit organisation advises that both treatments be done for no more than 15 minutes at a time, two to four times a day.Eating this spicy ingredient could also help ease joint inflammation.

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