Coping from Rheumatoid Arthritis with Kottakkal Ayurgarden
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an anti-inflammatory disease that occurs all over the world. RA can occur at any age. It is majorly seen in the UK. There is no known cause rheumatoid arthritis and it Is not directly inherited. It means that the genetic trait is then triggered by other factors like infection, a chemical in food, injury, stress, or any other reason which is not known yet. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. When two or three factors trigger the body together, the immune system becomes faulty and hence do not behave in the way that it should be.
Emotions, relationships and coping with RA
The mind and body are intrinsically connected. If one is affected, others too suffer. Once you focus to keep a healthy mind, you are actually helping your body to be healthy too. If you are mentally weak, your body will follow the same as your mind thinks. Giving up hope, you will end up giving up on your body. Few practical tips to understand your diseases, and move ahead. When someone has a health issue, it affects the people around them, too. So, it is important to talk about it, find a balance between making the changes needed to live with the illness. Keep doing the things value the most.
- When you are active and trying to understand your diseases, you can accept it to cope better. Take control, look for information and help, might make life much easier.
- Make sure, you take medications at the right time when you are supposed to, rather than waiting until you are in pain. Join a yoga class or do yoga at home and you will definitely see results. The relationship with your pain will improve.
- Initially, you won’t understand the condition. You might experience that people around you treating differently. You might also feel trapped. If you are an office person, have the courage to speak up about your condition. If you love your job and do not want to stop working, ask for options that can make things easier for you.
- You will feel tired and exhausted quickly. Even small tasks would seem difficult. But a walk every day might become your savior. Walking in the fresh air would make you feel batter. Start with small walks that hardly take 5 minutes. But gradually, as the days pass you will feel better. Regular exercise and spending time with family will really help you to be happy and keep going without losing your independence.
- You will learn to look things differently, will help improve you today, you will learn about changing your mindset which will help reframe your tomorrow.
- Finding a balance really important. Think practically about what changes you need to make. Try to find ways of doing things differently, rather than giving in your problems or trying to fight them.
- You may need to ask for some help and support for yourself, don’t hesitate.
- Allow yourself enough time to rest and feel fresh.
- Eat well and keep yourself as active as you can. It will lift up your mood.
- Have a proper warm-up and cool down while exercising. Keep your pace comfortable while exercising. Wear comfortable shoes
- Try not to worry, if you are not sleeping properly. This is common when you are coping with changes in your life.
- Write down your goals and how to overcome the problems which are getting in your way to achieve them. Slowly and steadily you will find solutions. It will definitely motivate you.
- Plan for the future, think of living each day, and make time to enjoy small pleasures of life.
- If something seems impossible right now, add it to the list of your goals. Break the task in small steps and think about how you could approach them in a different manner.
A variety of methods can help reduce the pain
- Massage: Massage can make you feel relaxed, eases the tension especially around the neck are. Massage can allow the joint to move more easily.
- Heat: Heat can also give relief in joint pain and stiffness. At night when you sleep, the body becomes inactive, leading to joint stiffness. Heat can help reduce that pain. The heat helps improve your pain tolerance and relaxes muscles, both of which can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis,” according to Harvard Health. Heat treatment has always been a standard part in physical therapy to reduce pain. You can use electric heating pads or take a hot shower once you get up in the morning. Moist heat is more effective than dry heat. You can microwave the damp towel, as using it can be very effective.
- Physiotherapy (TENS): Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device is used to relieve pain in a person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. TENS cold therapy is much effective for acute pain and TENS heat for the chronic phase. TENS offers a powerful alternative to pain-killers.it sends soothing pulses via TENS nodes through the skin. It is non-invasive, fast-acting, and drug-free.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is also used for pain relief because it produces an intense sensory input. Needles are inserted in specific points of the body to clear energy channels. The needles may close the pain gate or it may stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Although there is no specific proof that that acupuncture is for rheumatoid arthritis, it may help with RA related pain, just as it does with other types of pain. Consult your doctor or a good experience physiotherapist first, before going for acupuncture.
- Relaxation: relaxation techniques like yoga and hydrotherapy can reduce the tension in our bodies. The best type of relaxation for people with rheumatoid arthritis involves the use of visualization, rather than activities involving tightening and releasing muscles.
The Arthritis Research Campaign says that there is some scientific evidence that the right diet with proper essential nutrients can help you with RA. The study has found that patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who switch to a low-fat vegan diet can experience significant reductions in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Patients are usually recommended to follow an anti-inflammatory diet and avoiding foods that cause inflammation. Food like junk-food, oily and fried food, refine and processed food, leftovers can cause or increase inflammation in the body. Strictly avoid these kinds of foods.
Eat food that reduces inflammation. Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. For example
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Fruits including strawberries and blueberries
- Foods with healthy fats, such as salmon
- Nuts like walnuts
- Olive oil
Exercise is important because it makes muscles strong, support our joints, particularly if they are damaged due to cartilage erosion. These exercises can keep you active and away from severe pain.
- Yoga, swimming, and aqua-aerobics exercises in water.
- If you feel too weak, just walk for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually increase your time and do cycling.
- Do not do anything strenuous and listen to your own body.
- If you have other medical conditions apart from rheumatoid arthritis talk to your doctor first and find out how much exercise is beneficial.
- Exercise on the table such as; Rest the forearm on the table. Curl your fingers up gently into a fist then gradually uncurl.
- Hold your hands out in front of you. Have the fingers make a loose fist then circle the hand at the wrist clockwise and anticlockwise and then up and down. Each should be done separately.
- Useful yoga exercise is an appropriate way to maintain a good range of movements in all your joints. Exercises such as;
- Ankle bends: This exercise relieves swollen ankles and feet, improves circulation, and removes fatigue in the legs.
- The blade: This relieves tension in the shoulders and upper back and can relieve arthritic pain. It also stretches the shoulder joints.
- The flower: This improves flexibility and reduces stiffness in the fingers.
- Hands to the wall: This strengthens the arms and wrists and releases tension in the shoulders. Stand in front of the wall, place your palm on it and try to push it by bending the elbows.
- The tree: This will improve circulation and balance. It also encourages good posture and tones the leg muscles.
The study says that better sleep can help you build immunity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Research shows that all mammals need sleep and that sleep regulates mood and is related to learning and memory functions. Incomplete sleep can affect your diet and can change your nap patterns. Incomplete sleep can make you dull, de-motivated, and fills up a lot of laziness which is not good in Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you are facing difficulty in sleep, you can put on a slow, soft, short music that can make you feel relaxed.
Doing meditation can improve your sleep cycle and keeps you active, energetic, and fresh throughout the whole day and restores your health.