Arthritis is very often associated with the elderly, however not many people know, that there are over 100 different diseases and conditions that can be described as arthritis and they can affect people of any age. One of the most common forms of it is Rheumatoid Arthritis. As a part of our support of the RA Awareness Week, we have decided to prepare this note in which we hope to shred some light onto this condition and provide few helpful tips and advices for living with it.
Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the membranes lining the joints become inflamed, which results in pain, stiffness and swelling. It causes daily suffering, as it can highly affect one’s ability to complete some activities, that to a healthy person wouldn’t be a problem. It can become painful to do things like lifting, writing or sometimes even walking. Luckily, there are some things you can do to manage your symptoms!
The way you move yourself and the amount of pressure and load you put on your joints can definitely affect their health. When possible, you should try to use your bigger, stronger joints in order to minimise the stress on the smaller ones. For example, when you grab something, try to maintain as loose grip as possible, without dropping what you’re holding or when you lift something, try to spread the weight as evenly as possible, so you don’t strain your knees, wrists or elbows.
Often when we’re in pain or feeling sore, our first instinct is to stay still and get some rest. In some cases, this would be recommended, but when it comes to arthritis, sometimes the best thing you can do is to exercise. More movement can boost your energy levels, strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility, which can take pressure off you joints and relief the pain. However, you must remember to be careful with what types of exercises you do and preferably seek medical advice before engaging in physical activities.
Balanced diet helps to maintain a healthy weight and provides all the nutrients our bodies and minds need. This is crucial in supporting our bones and joints. Foods that are the best for it are the ones that are full of Omega-3, as they’ve been proven to be able to reduce inflammation and relief pain. You should therefore make sure that you include in your diet lots of fish, nuts and leafy greens, but also cauliflower, broccoli and olive oil.
Positive attitude is one of the best weapons against any condition. It also helps reduce the pain. No matter how sceptical you are, mind is a very powerful tool and it can work wonders when used right! For example, if you set your mind on expecting pain with every movement, it’s very likely that you could trigger your brain into feeling it. Focus on practicing positive thoughts in those situations and being in the now. You will be surprised how much this could change your daily life.
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