Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition. There is no cure, but there are certain treatments that can help manage the symptoms. Many women turn to prescription medications to manage their RA. But there are times when prescriptions don't work well, cause unwanted side effects, or do not bring the condition under full control. In cases such as these, you may want to consider some more holistic treatments, such as the following.
While rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints, it can affect the muscles, too. The soreness in your joints can cause your muscles to tense up. Your tense muscles pull on your joints, causing you more joint pain, and that joint pain only serves to make your muscles even more tense. Massage therapy can help break this cycle. It can loosen your muscles, free up your joints, and help ease pain and stiffness all around. Massage can also reduce your stress levels, which can help reduce the number of RA flare-ups you experience since stress is a common trigger. Make sure you work with a massage therapist who has experience with RA patients and go regularly.
Acupuncture is an Eastern medical practice that involves having tiny needles inserted into the skin. There is some thought that acupuncture can help relieve inflammation, which is what's at the core of RA. As such, undergoing periodic acupuncture sessions may help reduce the swelling in your joints, making them less stiff and painful. Some people with RA go for acupuncture appointments regularly as a way of preventing flare-ups. Others prefer to only go in when they have a flare-up; they find it helps shorten the duration.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a sort of guided, holistic therapy. You'll listen to a tape or to a live practitioner while you close your eyes and lie back. The practitioner will guide you in relaxing each and every muscle in your body, one at a time, deeper and deeper. This can directly address some of the soreness and tension you feel from RA. It is also a good stress reliever and may help keep you from having such severe RA flare-ups at times when you're feeling stressed.
If you are not getting the relief you need from prescriptions alone, try the above holistic remedies for rheumatoid arthritis. Reach out to a holistic doctor or naturopath to learn more about these and other options.
For more info about holistic treatments, contact a professional.