While joint pain is annoying and frustrating, resist the temptation to “work through it.” Arthritic joints simply can’t handle as much strain as other joints, and forcing them to continue their motion is likely to worsen the pain and increase your risk of joint deformities in the future. Here are some helpful tips for managing rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Listen to the Pain
When the aching begins, pay attention to that pain. Your joints are telling you you’re putting too much strain on that area of your body, so avoid further damage and take a break. Consider finding tools to make the activity easier on your joints or alternating between activities that affect different parts of your body throughout the day, so no one part undergoes undue stress.
Use Your Strongest Joint
When you bring in groceries, carrying a bag with two fingers is a sure way to increase joint pain. Always opt to use a stronger joint. Carrying bags with an open palm allows you to distribute the weight over your whole forearm, instead of a few weaker and smaller joints.
Keep Joints Moving
Exercise eases your symptoms. For rheumatoid arthritis, ensure you stretch before and after every workout, as jumping in without warming up may exacerbate the problem. Keep exercises low impact, such as walking or cycling. If running or jogging feels like it’s hurting more than helping, switch to a brisk walk instead.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Having more weight to carry around means more work for your joints. Maintaining a healthy diet and consistent, daily exercise is a great way to keep your body in its healthiest shape, which will pay dividends in the long run.
Now that you know some tips for managing rheumatoid arthritis pain, you may want to learn about coping with other autoimmune diseases. Follow these tips and reduce those pesky aches and pains to improve your quality of life!