Stress is a fact of life that affects both mind and body. If you suffer from RA (rheumatoid arthritis), the pain and worry associated with this disease are stressors, which exacerbate its symptoms. It’s a vicious cycle, so what can you do about it? Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend exercising regularly, applying heat or ice, and finding ways to relax. A microwave heating pad or an ice pack is a simple, convenient tool for doing two of those three things.
There is no cure for RA, a chronic inflammatory disorder that attacks joints causing pain and limiting mobility. To lessen the effects of the disease doctors recommend strengthening the muscles around the joints to help support them. Talking with your physician first about an exercise plan — what, when, how — is important. Overdoing can cause pain. Talking with an occupational therapist might give you some insights on how to approach daily tasks that limit stress on the joints.
To reduce stress, focus on hope and ways to cope with resources and solutions you can put into place today. At Maine Warmers, we recently started following a blog called “My RA Diary, a Holistic Journey Towards Curing Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Diana, the creator, offers a wealth of information on RA, based on personal experience and community support.