The downside? You can't get steroid shots more than once every 3 or 4 months, because they can weaken your bones and tissue. They’re not a cure for RA, but they can help you get through a rough patch.
Do you ever use ice or heat?
They’re classic remedies, and they help a lot of people with arthritis. A cold compress, ice pack, or a frozen bag of peas on a painful joint can ease swelling. Try ice packs for 15 minutes at a time with 30-minute breaks in between.
Moist heat can help relax muscles and ease muscle aches, pain, and stiffness. Wrap a warm towel or pad around the area that hurts. Or try a warm bath or shower.
Do you need more sleep?
Many people with RA have trouble sleeping because of their pain. Lack of shut-eye can lead to more pain and fatigue. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even if you didn’t sleep well the night before. Get some physical activity daily. Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. It’s also important to "unplug" your bedroom. Turn off TVs, computers, and phones. If you still need more help, talk to your doctor.
Have you tried to relax your muscles?
Use “progressive muscle relaxation” to help your muscles -- and your mind -- let go. To do this, tense or tighten one muscle group and then relax it. Take deep breaths as you do. Start at your feet. Move slowly up your body, ending with the muscles of your face.