Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. This situation creates inflammation that causes the tissue lining the inside of joints to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that cannot be cured completely. All the treatment options available are directed toward eliminating the symptoms because in this disease, it is the immune system that is the cause and there is nothing one can do about it.
The main symptoms of this disease are pain, swelling, and warmth in the joints affected, and sometimes other parts of the body like the skin, lungs, and heart can also be affected. It is one of those diseases which continue for life, making it a chronic disease. Rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups are those periods of the disease when all the symptoms suddenly increase, causing extra pain in the body. In some cases, the pain can become so intense that immediate medical help may be required. Statistically, according to CDC, almost 1.5 million American people are suffering from this disease.
It is very important to know what you can do at home that will help decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis without your having to resort to medical help. We are therefore we are going to talk about the five most important home remedies to treat rheumatoid arthritis:
- Regular Exercise
It is of utmost importance to exercise daily and make sure that the affected joint or joints can move with full range in all directions. While it is important for the patient to engage in some form of exercise to ensure that the body especially the joints is working properly, it must also be remembered that too much of exercise can cause stress on and tearing of joint tissues that may result in worsening the condition. The patient must therefore exercise under the general supervision of a doctor and a person who will help him during his exercise sessions if any pain occurs and also to see to it that he isn’t straining too much.
Exercise helps lower the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Firstly, as we all know, exercise helps us become and stay healthy since it improves blood circulation and helps us shed extra calories. Secondly, it helps to maintain motion in all the joints which is important for this disease. Thirdly, exhaustion can be reduced by some breathing exercises. Finally, exercise strengthens the muscles around the joint.
Consider seeking the advice of a rheumatologist or physiotherapist on the specific kinds of exercises that are necessary, although three types of exercises are usually done:
- Exercises that maintain the range of motions in all the joints at least 1 hour every day
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles and done 2 or 3 times a week
- Aerobic exercises, which will increase one's endurance
Additionally, the rheumatoid arthritis sufferer can also do breathing exercises and yoga. They help fight stress and other diseases easily. They also help one cope with mental depression, which occurs quite often in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
This is a very old and effective way to fight inflammation. This treatment requires placing hot and cold compresses alternately on the affected area. Sore muscles are relaxed by hot compresses which help reduce the pain. Meanwhile, cold compresses decrease swelling. This hot and cold therapy not only helps in relieving pain but also relaxes the body muscles.
The method may involve the following practice:
- Apply a hot compress for 3-4 minutes
- Remove it and apply a cold compress for 1-2 minutes
- Remove the cold compress
- Repeat the foregoing steps for 20-25 minutes
3. Fish Oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help fight rheumatoid arthritis. A lot of research is being done on the advantages of fish oil, and some of them state that apart from reducing pain and swelling, it is also healthy for the heart. The patient is advised to include fish oil in his diet at least twice a week.
Through the ages, turmeric has been known to help fight inflammation and provide asepsis. It contains curcumin, which has shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Turmeric is especially used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine (natural medicine). Studies have been done on turmeric and it has been proven that turmeric blocks certain chemical messengers in the cascade of inflammation.
What to do to witness the real effects?
- Boil 25 ml. of water then add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
- Boil the mixture till there is no sediment, and stir while boiling.
- Cool the mixture and drink it.
- Also, turmeric capsules are available, and can be taken on daily basis.
- Try adding turmeric to the food you eat every day.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps fight all the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, i.e., pain, swelling, and inflammation. Apple cider vinegar contains all the important nutrients required to reduce symptoms.
What should be done?
- Make a mixture containing 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey and drink it daily.
- Simply putting vinegar on the affected area and then massaging the area with castor oil before sleeping may also help.
The best way to treat rheumatoid arthritis is to follow the natural way of dealing with the disease by making sure the patient maintains a proper diet and balance in his lifestyle habits, and where no sort of drug consumption or medication is consumed without the consent of the doctor. A good, healthy diet rich in proteins, fiber, and minerals will prove beneficial not only in curing the disease, but also in maintaining a healthy life. This will further help the doctor in diagnosing and making recommendations as to the management of the disease. The patient suffering from this disease must never hesitate to share any signs or symptoms that he may find developing in his body. Keep in mind that not every cure lies in taking medication or undergoing surgery. Sometimes, the real therapy lies in our own hands. Still, it is important to get advice from your doctor before starting on a treatment plan.
- It is very important to know what you can do at home that will help decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis without your having to resort to medical help.
- Exercise helps lower the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hot and cold therapy is a very old and effective way to fight inflammation.