As people get older, they are more likely to succumb to the common condition known as Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as RA.Basically, RA is when one’s joints in their knees, elbows and/or hands become inflamed due to the body’s immune system attacking the tissues and the joint’s cartilage.
Usually the immune system’s helps destroy any cells that are likely to negatively affect the body, bur RA is when those same antibodies attack and destroy any of the tissues within the joints.
RA can severely limit one’s mobility whichcan make daily living very difficult.It can also cause problems for some of the body’s vital organs, which is a key reason why RA is considered a systemic illness.
It is a chronic disease that can last for a long period of time and can cause progressive damage to the joints which become inflamed, swollen, stiff or reddened with pain. The damage can increaseto an extent where someone might become disabled due to the high levels of pain.
Scientific studies have found that women are more likely to suffer from the effects of RA than men are and while it is more common for people between the ages of 40 and 60, there are cases where children in their teens and younger experiencing these conditions and symptoms early on in life (i.e. juvenile idiopathic arthritis).
Types of RA
The effects of RA are very likely to happen at various parts in your hand and that can include several different types of pain found throughout your hand and even within your fingers – this can include inflammation and a stiffness when trying to bend your digits.
The joints within your fingers and hands can also be very warm to touch or can be quite tender if you are dealing with hand RA.
The hand joints also include the wrists and in many situations, RA can strike both the right and left joint sets symmetrically. Having hand RA can also lead to the finger joints becoming misshaped and even a sudden numbness or tingling that could also be the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Additionally, people may also start feeling like they have the flue – including higher levels of fatigue through the day – and pains that can last for more than an hour after waking up.
This can also include many of the same effects that those with hand RA will have – including pains, inflammation and stiffness around the knee. The area around the knee will also feel very warm to touch and you will become more fatigued because of the difficulty that even walking from one end of the room to the other might entail.
This might be a more common type than one would think with more than a million people in the United States suffering from this chronic condition where more women will have inflamed joints than men are.
This type of RA can affect larger joints as opposed to the knee and hand RA – that also can spread to the shoulders as well and can develop a lot longer than the RA conditions in those smaller joints.
Why use natural remedies?
RA is one of the more painful conditions to develop, which can happen naturally. The best thing to do is go with an equally natural way of healing yourself.
Besides, there are so many negative side effects that can come from artificial chemicals that can eventually cause a number of long-term health issues.
Common symptoms natural remedies can alleviate
- Stiffness – Not being able to move the joint and the part of the body like you would have normally done in the past and can cause several hours of effort for someone with RA to be able to finally move that joint.
- Swelling – Because of the damaged tissues, fluid can enter the area and make the joint swollen.
- Pain – Because of the other symptoms, that area of the body becomes a lot more sensitive to touching and becomes worse as the RA continues to create more damage to the area.
- Redness, warmth – The skin around this area might look a little more red or pink and can actually feel warmer than the rest of your body.
In addition to these physical joint symptoms, other parts of your body and how you live your daily life can actually pop up as well. Because you have more pain in trying to move, it can easily cause fatigue because of the effort it takes to move around.
One will also feel sicker more often and have less appetite – which will actually lead one to lose weight because of the lack of eating like they used to. One might also think they are experiencing flu-like symptoms that aren’t as intense, yet will last longer than a normal flu.
Types of natural remedies to use
Herbs, spices provide relief that is nice
There have been several scientific studies that have found that there are a number of different herbs and spices that can help battle the effects of RA and could easily be added to a regular diet.
Many of these also taste very well in different dishes, so it just seems like a great idea for one to at least try out to battle their RA symptoms like reducing inflammation.
According to a number of studies, ginger is one of those types of spices that can actually help create an internal balance for a person. In the opinion of experts in the field of natural and alternative medicines, the different pains and swelling of the joints are actually a sign that the body’s balance is not perfect.
So consuming ginger can actually help someone be able to reduce the inflammation. Additionally, eating ginger in your meals can also help prevent future joint damage – an important note for people who want to continue living active lifestyles.
There aren’t many spices that described as having a cooling effect which can be very useful when it comes to helping reduce the amount of swelling and inflammation that someone with RA will commonly have to combat on a daily basis. Different studies on animals have found that the different components inside of turmeric can actually have different properties that can combat the signs of arthritis.
The key ingredient is curcumin that can actually help prevent other issues like negative bacterial infections and even cancer-causing problems in addition to the inflammation that can happen within RA.
There are several reasons why one can receive the benefits of the herbal cup of tea during the day, which includes relieving the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. While there are more trials that need to be done, but there has been a number of things that have shown positive signs from testing with animals – including a components called polyphenols.
This substance will help keep those antibodies from causing damage to the joint tissues thanks to a number of antioxidants.
Different international cultures like in China and India have a long history of using cinnamon bark as a main component of different remedies, medicines and teas – all of which are able to help fight off any joint inflammation.
There have been a number of scientific studies that have found that that a natural extract from cinnamon contain a number of substances that will reduce the swelling and other forms of damage to the joint tissues.
There is one concern from experts that anything larger than six grams of cinnamon a day can actually cause severe health problems – causing problems with any medications that help regulate the clotting and thinning of the blood. It is beneficial, but must be taken within moderation.
There are several essential substances that are found within garlic that are very beneficial in the fight against various forms of swelling and pain within the joints – as long as you have a fresh clove of garlic and all of its defining fragrance.
A roasted clove of garlic actually has a lot less potency that is lost in the heat. There are a number of ways one can add fresh garlic into your fresh meals to help deal with the effects of RA – French fries, beef, chicken, pork, etc.
In addition to helping deal with RA, garlic is also known for being able to help the body prevent the accumulation of cytokines, which help allow the production of more substances that causes swelling and inflammation.
It seems like a simple thing that you can add on your eggs at breakfast or can shake onto mashed potatoes. But this is just one of several types of pepper that can be used to help deal with the pains and other issues that the body can deal with over time – including RA.
Capsaicin – known for giving the pepper its heat –is used in several topical remedies to help treat the symptoms of RA. Despite not being considered very hot, several clinical trials have found capsaicin inside black pepper. Just another reason why people who are dealing with the severe effects of RA should include herbs like black pepper and the other mentioned above.
Just make sure you speak with your primary health care provider in the event you are under current prescriptions so that you know if any of these will interfere or counteract with your medication in a negative way.
Exercise more often
As much as you feel the pain, you can gain a lot of benefits from getting some low-impact exercise into your daily routine and also finding a way to regularly battle things like joint fatigue, building strength in your muscles and helping improve the range of motion for your arms, shoulders and legs.
For one, you can do easy strolls around the neighborhood or a nearby nature trail that won’t be too demanding with hills.
But you can also be able to get a great workout by either swimming or water aerobics because being in the water provides all of the benefits of activity without a lot of impact on the joints that would otherwise cause a higher risk of joint pain. Just make sure to get the proper approval from your doctor before starting.
Seek physical therapy for alleviating pain
Speaking of your doctor, one of the things he/she might recommend you do if you are dealing with RA is being prescribed to meet with a physical therapist in an effort to do a series of stretches and exercises that will help allow you to move the parts of your body around more and allow them to heal properly by strengthening the joints and the surrounding muscles.
Among the different exercises and stretches, a physical therapist will use a number of heat and ice remedies to act as healing agents – there is also the stimulation of the joint tissues, muscles and nerves by using the healing powers of electricity to help get you into shape and improved range of motion.
Most PT programs last in a short amount of time, but could last for a few months – it all depends on how fast you are starting to feel better.
Getting plenty of time to rest and relax
If you read a lot of health tip articles, this phrase might have been hammered into your head relentlessly. But that’s because the body needs a break from the daily demands just to recover from the activities.
It’s even more important for people to be able to get those same recovery benefits when they are dealing with the effects of RA.
For people who are unable to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, one recommendation is getting a good, long, two-hour nap in the afternoon.
In addition to sleeping for a bit, you can also relax in a number of ways that are natural – including performing exercises where you focus on deep breathes, as well as trying to do a few moves where you can relax the muscles. Experts also recommend trying meditation.
One way to relax is a good massage
Based on how much your body aches in those joints where the RA can sometimes feel the worst, a massage can either be an extremely beneficial reward for you physically, or it could feel like hell.
When you don’t have extremely sensitive muscles and joints, the massage therapist you go to can help take care of easing the tension within your body – especially the joints.
But maybe the body doesn’t want to have the hands getting deep into the joint tissue fibers. It’s up to you to see if it really is going to work. There are several massage therapists who are certified and experienced in being able to help people reduce their RA symptoms.
Look into the benefits of fish oil supplements
There have been a number of clinical trials that have found there are a number of ways that supplements made from pure, 100 percent fish oil are able to help reduce a number of RA effects – including stiff joints and other levels of pain.
While one should speak with their primary health care provider before adding fish oil supplements to your daily routine, there are a lot of benefits to pain killing – as well as benefits that fish oil provides to your overall heart health.
At the same time, there have concerns that include how these supplements can negatively counteract prescription medications. There have also been some reports of people who take fish oil having more nausea, more of a fish taste after burping or coughing.
The essential oils that can be pulled from plants
Similar to the spices that were mentioned earlier in this article, there are a variety of oils extracted from natural plants that have been tested through several clinical trials that can help alleviate the pains and any other stiffer feelings in those joins affected by RA.
Once again, it is best to speak with a professional health care provider to get the best medical advice – because these oils have been linked to the damage sometimes caused in the liver and other people’s prescriptions.
Many of these oils contain Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which is a fatty acid that is essential to the average person’s health. GLA can actually help deal with an upset stomach or even advanced types of headaches and there has been plenty of proof through clinical trials,with published results, that GLA can be an effective treatment for RA.
The best thing about using a natural remedy is that they are a lot easier to do than having to get a prescription from a family doctor of health care provider. But, of course, it is always best to speak with your doctor or health care provider before trying one of these remedies.