Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation, stiffness, pain, and loss of functions of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint but is more common in smaller joints such as the wrists, fingers, and toes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more prevalent in women than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis, commonly called RA, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system erroneously attacks the membranes that surround the joints (synovium).
Rheumatoid arthritis is different from the more common osteoarthritis that often comes with old age.
There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are numerous avenues to relieve its symptoms.
RA does not just affect joints. It can also affect eyes, mouth, and lungs.
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. However, factors that could contribute to rheumatoid arthritis include; hormones, genes, and environmental factors such as smoking cigarettes and exposure to silica mineral.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include; fatigue, minor joint pains, stiffness, and swelling.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis;
- Strive to move the affected joints through its complete range of motion at least once a day.
- You could drink a few cups of green tea daily.
- Rest the affected joints whenever you feel the need.
- Avoid activities that would tend to strain the affected joint.
- If you are overweight, losing the excess weight would reduce the load-burden on the affected joints.
- Stop drinking and smoking cigarettes to avoid exacerbating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- You could opt for alternative treatments such as deep breathing, acupuncture, guided imagery, hypnosis, and muscle relaxations to help with some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Strive to take hourly short breaks.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis;
1. Hot & Cold Compress
Applying a hot and cold compress, alternatively, may provide a great relief from pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The hot temperature will relax muscle soreness while the cold temperature will aid in reducing pain significantly. Hot and cold compress would also help in reducing inflammation.
For this remedy, prepare a hot compress by wrapping a hot water bag in a towel. Also, prepare a cold compress by wrapping a few ice cubes in a towel. Apply the hot compress for 3 minutes and immediately apply the cold compress for a minute. Repeat applying alternate temperatures to the affected area for 12-15 minutes. Do this several times to relieve pain.
Exercise is another effective way to get rid of rheumatoid arthritis in a natural way. Exercise increases the range of motion while strengthening the joint muscles. You should do strengthening exercises at least 2-3 times weekly. Cardio or aerobic exercises for 30 minutes, at least 3-4 times weekly, is found to be highly effective also. Furthermore, doing exercises that increase the range of motion for half an hour, each day, has proven to be beneficial.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar provides a wide array of nutrients essential for combating rheumatoid arthritis. It has high levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus that help in healing the condition.
Spritz a little amount of apple cider vinegar on the affected area. Then, massage the area with warm castor oil. Wrap a cotton cloth and cover it with a plastic. Doing this once every day before going to bed will help in reducing inflammation and pain. You may also consume raw, unfiltered ACV by mixing a tablespoon of it in half a cup of warm water. Also, add some honey and drink it once every day.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids which helps to reduce stiffness and pain in the joints. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids’ anti-inflammatory effect reduces swelling and promotes a faster recovery. Include fish like salmon and tuna in your daily diet. You may also take fish oil supplements of about 2.6 grams two times a day. Make sure the supplement has 30 percent EPA/DHA. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
The anti-inflammatory effect of garlic is beneficial in reducing swollen and painful joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Garlic inhibits the body from producing cytokines which is a pro-inflammatory substance, thereby relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Consume 1-2 clove of fresh garlic daily.
Massaging the affected areas reduces stiffness and relieves pain. It also increases blood circulation to the joints and induces healing. Take a cup of mustard oil and warm it with about 10 grams of pure camphor. Remove from heat as soon as the camphor dissolves. Cool it and use the oil to massage, gently, on your joints. Do this 2-3 times every day until your joints feel better. You may also prepare olive oil by warming it and adding a little lavender oil. Use this oil to massage the affected area.
Turmeric contains curcumin which has a high anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, it helps in effectively dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. For this remedy, take a quart of water and bring it to boil. Now add a tablespoon of powdered turmeric and let it boil for another 8-10 minutes. Cool the solution and drink it 1-2 times every day.
8. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid that helps in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms effectively. It is also helpful in relieving morning stiffness. All you have to do is take evening primrose oil supplements on a regular basis. To discuss the exact doses that will work for you, consult a doctor.
Ginger has been used for many years to treat inflammation effectively. Thus, it can naturally relieve rheumatoid arthritis. Simply add ginger in your food or prepare a ginger tea. Drink 2-3 cups of this ginger tea on a regular basis. You may also apply ginger oil on the affected area and expose it to sunlight for at least 5-10 minutes.
10. Epsom Salt
You may use Epsom salt to soothe your irritated joints. It has an anti-inflammatory action on the body which can bring down swelling and pain in a natural way. Prepare a bathtub by filling it with warm water and add about 2 cups of Epsom salt, then, soak in for 30 minutes. Repeat this remedy at least 3 times weekly in order to relieve the symptoms. You could also use sea salt if Epsom salt is not readily available.
Cinnamon has a heating effect on the body. Its anti-inflammatory property is great for reducing redness, swelling, and pain from your joints. However, it can be harmful in large doses. Just add a little amount of powdered cinnamon in your meals and you will start to notice the positive effects soon. Avoid consuming it if you are pregnant or you take blood-thinning medications.
12. Black Pepper
Black pepper contains capsaicin which has a heating effect. Due to this reason, it is often used in creams and gels used for treating arthritis. Black pepper also shows anti-inflammatory attributes that help in dealing with the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Add it to your food to enhance its taste while enjoying its goodness.
13. Green Tea
The polyphenols present in green tea has a healing action on the body. It not only reduces inflammation but also protects the joints. The high levels of antioxidant present in green tea is great for neutralizing free radicals. Pour boiling water in a cup and add dried green tea leaves. Let it steep for a few minutes, then, strain it. Drink it a few times in a day.
14. Willow Bark
Willow bark is an excellent remedy for relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It has an anti-inflammatory action which significantly reduces pain in a natural way. It is also known to work well in reducing muscle aches, stiffness, and fever. However, it is important to consume it in smaller doses as an overdose can be detrimental. It is best to talk with your doctor before using it.
It is important to take proper rest to reduce stress and allow enough time for the body to heal. Ensure an uninterrupted sleep of 7-8 hours every night. Consider taking a nap in the afternoon if you do not get enough time to sleep during the night. You may also try relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing to enhance your sleep while reducing stress in an effective way.
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