A few studies show that fish oil supplements may help reduce pain and stiffness due to RA.
THE SHIFT FROM AGRARIAN TO SEDENTARY
Check with your doctor before adding fish oil supplements to your diet, as they can interfere with certain medications and increase the likelihood of bruising or bleeding. Some people also complain of nausea, belching, and a fishy taste in their mouth. Some plant oils are thought to reduce pain and morning stiffness associated with RA.
Evening primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid and may provide some relief. However, studies regarding the effectiveness of primrose oil are inconclusive. Again, check with your doctor before taking plant oils, as some can damage your liver or interfere with medications. Potential side effects include headache, gas, diarrhea, and nausea. Apply an ice pack to inflamed joints to help ease swelling.
Cold can also help to numb pain and relax muscle spasms. You can also apply a hot towel, a heating pad , or other hot pack to help relax tense muscles and relieve pain and stiffness. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for guidance using heat and cold therapy. Aspirin or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs can provide temporary relief of pain and inflammation. NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen. All prescription NSAIDs have a warning that the medications may increase the chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or stomach bleeding.
Splints, braces, and neck collars can stabilize and rest inflamed joints. Customized shoes or shoe inserts can provide support for unstable joints in the foot and ankle. Canes and crutches can take weight off joints and make it easier for you to walk. Special household tools can make working with your hands easier. For example, grab bars and handrails in bathrooms and on stairs can help you navigate your home safely.
Surgery may be able to correct deformities and help ease pain in advanced RA patients. The most common surgery for RA is total joint replacement, including shoulders, hips , and knees. Reconstructive surgery can repair damage to tendons and relieve pressure on nerves. A procedure called synovectomy removes inflamed joint linings. Patient advocate and blogger Leslie Rott shares why the invisibleillnessawareness campaign matters to people living with rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the goals of rheumatoid arthritis is remission, or freedom from disease activity.
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Learn more about the definition of remission, why early…. Some RA triggers are well-known, but others can be surprising. Patient advocate Leslie Rott shares the triggers that surprised her the most.
Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress - Mayo Clinic
Patient advocate Leslie Rott shares tools and services that can be helpful for making day-to-day life easier while living with RA. If you live with rheumatoid arthritis, it's important to consider your mental well-being in addition to your physical health. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching.
Introduction to Tai Chi
Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Tai chi has many different styles.
Each style may subtly emphasize various tai chi principles and methods. There are variations within each style. Some styles may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi. Tai chi is different from yoga, another type of meditative movement. Yoga includes various physical postures and breathing techniques, along with meditation. Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels.
In fact, because tai chi is a low-impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you're an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.
You may also find tai chi appealing because it's inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can do tai chi anywhere, including indoors or outside.
Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups
And you can do tai chi alone or in a group class. Although tai chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying tai chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended. When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of tai chi may include:. More research is needed to determine the health benefits of tai chi.
Some evidence indicates that tai chi may also help:. Although you can rent or buy videos and books about tai chi, consider seeking guidance from a qualified tai chi instructor to gain the full benefits and learn proper techniques. You can find tai chi classes in many communities today.
To find a class near you, contact local fitness centers, health clubs and senior centers. Tai chi instructors don't have to be licensed or attend a standard training program. It's a good idea to ask about an instructor's training and experience, and get recommendations if possible. A tai chi instructor can teach you specific positions and breathing techniques. An instructor can also teach you how to practice tai chi safely, especially if you have injuries, chronic conditions, or balance or coordination problems.
Although tai chi is slow and gentle, and generally doesn't have negative side effects, it may be possible to get injured if you don't use the proper techniques. After learning tai chi, you may eventually feel confident enough to do tai chi on your own.
But if you enjoy the social aspects of a class, consider continuing with group tai chi classes. While you may gain some benefit from a tai chi class that lasts 12 weeks or less, you may enjoy greater benefits if you continue tai chi for the long term and become more skilled. You may find it helpful to practice tai chi in the same place and at the same time every day to develop a routine.
But if your schedule is erratic, do tai chi whenever you have a few minutes. You can even practice the soothing mind-body concepts of tai chi without performing the actual movements when you are in a stressful situation, such as a traffic jam or a tense work meeting, for instance.
Tai chi is a series of gentle physical exercises and stretches. Tai chi is sometimes described as meditation in motion because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body.
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Originally developed in ancient China for self-defense, tai chi evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and to help with a variety of other health conditions. Each style has its own subtle emphasis on various tai chi principles and methods.
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As a result, there are more than possible movements and positions with tai chi. Regardless of the variation, all forms of tai chi include rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help you achieve a sense of inner calm.