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Rheumatoid Arthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses over time. It generally affects the fingers, feet, wrists, and ankles. It causes immobility due to inflammation and stiffness as well as severe pain. This is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly ends up attacking the joints instead of attacking bacteria and other substances as it normally should. Severe cartilage damage can be caused if this condition is not treated on time, which can make the spacing between the bones even smaller than usual.
- Rest: While there is still no cure for this condition, one can take a number of measures in order to tackle it. One of the foremost ways of managing this condition is with the help of rest and relaxation. It is important to get plenty of sleep so that you can keep the condition from getting worse. There are a number of relaxation exercises that will help you in sleeping better, especially if you have been having trouble sleeping due to the aches and pains.
- Exercise: Depending on the doctor’s recommendations, you will need to exercise on a regular basis so as to keep the motion in your joints intact for as long as possible. Muscle and joint strengthening exercises include swimming, walking, and even gentle stretching that can help in reducing muscle fatigue. This can make your muscles stronger and increase the range of motions as well.
- Ointments and Lotions: One can turn to gels and lotions which can be topically applied. These can be prescribed by the doctor as well, so that the pain is soothed and temporary relief from pain and stiffness may be experienced. These are also available in the form of sprays. These ointments, gels or lotions usually contain camphor, menthol, capsaicin and salicylates.
- Fish Oil Supplements: Pain and stiffness can be significantly reduced with the help of fish oil, as per many medical studies. Before adding fish oil supplements to your food, you will need to talk to your orthopaedic specialist to find out if it may interfere with any medication that you may be taking for the condition or any other related disorder.
- Plant Oils: Plant oils are also known to contain fatty acids known as gamma linolenic acid, which can give much relief when it comes to pain and stiffness, especially in the morning. One must remember, though, that excessive use of this oil can lead to liver damage. So it is imperative to speak with your doctor or therapist before taking any plant oils.
- Medications: Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help in containing the pain and inflammation for severe cases.