Tips For Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Updated: Apr 6
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. It can also lead to joint damage and deformity. RA can affect people of any age, but it most commonly affects adults over the age of 40. Women are also more likely to develop RA than men.
There is no cure for RA, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. If you have RA, it’s important to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help manage your RA and improve your quality of life. Keep reading for tips on living with rheumatoid arthritis!
RA is an invisible disease in the early stages
You may need to have a talk with loved ones that just because there are not any physical symptoms that are visible, does mean that you aren’t in pain. The inflammation caused by RA will lead to pain, fatigue and stiffness which can impact daily life. To be open about the condition will make it easier for those around you to understand and support you.
Affects differently as you age
While RA is most common in women ages 25 to 45, the condition can develop in both genders at all ages. RA is primarily characterised by pain and inflammation in the joints, it may develop in different ways as you get older, especially if you are diagnosed in your 20’s or 30’s. For example, you may find that:
- You need more time to complete daily tasks
- Tend to experience forgetfulness more often
- Need more sleep
- Require more rest after a day out
- Losing weight when you are not trying too
Exercise to help with pain management
Regular exercise can improve your overall health and well-being but it can be difficult getting started, especially if you have RA. However, the exercise may help with overall pain management. Ask a professional for help if you are nervous about starting a new regime. Resistance exercise and yoga is a good place to start for beginners.
Rest is as important as exercise
While exercise is important, when you have a flare up, you must rest during this period of time. Too much exercise during the flare up periods can increase the inflammation in the joints and make symptoms worse. You should listen to your body in times of need. If you still want to feel active try gentle stretching.
In conclusion, living with rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier. It is important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. You should also try to stay active, eat a healthy diet, and avoid any activities that may trigger your pain. If you follow these tips, you can live a relatively normal life despite your arthritis.