While you may not be able to avoid the pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you can take action to limit it. Start with these eight ideas:
- Take your pain medication on a schedule and as prescribed. Don’t wait until you are in more pain and have to play "catch-up."
- Use a warm, moist compress to loosen up a stiff joint. Try an ice pack on an inflamed joint. Massage may also help. These tried-and-true treatments are easy and can provide some quick relief for mild symptoms.
- Make it a priority every day to relax. If you need ideas for healthy ways to manage stress, ask your doctor or a counselor. You may want to try meditation, too.
- Focus on things you enjoy.
- Join a support group. It’s a great place to talk with people who know what you are going through because they are, too.
- Exercise. It will make your joints feel better, not worse. Even if you're in pain, there are some exercises you can do. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist about what’s best for you.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t turn to “comfort food,” cigarettes, or alcohol.
- Consider talking to a counselor. These professionals are a great source of support. They can help you look for new solutions to make your life better.