Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a serious condition that affects millions of people throughout the world. The CDC reports that about 0.5-1% of United States citizens suffer from the disorder. About a third of these people suffer from serious health defects that require admittance to the hospital. The disorder can cause a number of health complications if they aren’t addressed. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that you can do after you realize that you are developing the disease.
It is a good idea to take preventive measures to avoid developing RA and reduce its severity. Here are some ideas that you will want to keep in mind. You should consult with your healthcare provider if you want more information.
Recognize the Signs
You will want to recognize the signs of rheumatoid arthritis early on. The most common precursors of rheumatoid arthritis are swollen joints, fatigue and stiffness. You may either be at risk of developing the disorder or are already in the early stages. Start making some changes to your lifestyle before it exacerbates.
Make Exercise a Priority
You may not feel like exercising if you are suffering from swollen joints. However, it is important to start making exercise a top priority to alleviate the symptoms. Talk to your doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist to learn which stretches and strength building exercises are most effective.
Watch the Intensity of Your Workouts
Exercising can be a good way to deal with the pain over time. You may feel some discomfort at first, but it will be worthwhile down the road. However, it is important not to overdo it. You may need to ease up on your new exercise program if the pain is too much for you.
Some workouts tend to put more pressure on your spine than others. You may want to try swimming or other workouts that place less stress on your body. However, it is still important that you avoid pushing yourself too much. Always listen to your body and make sure that you know when to reduce the intensity.
Minimize Pressure on Your Spine
You will want to make sure that your spine is protected. You may need to add some padding to your back while sitting or sleeping to reduce pressure on it.
A 2004 study led by Professor Lars Klareskog of Karolinska Institutet found that smoking was a serious trigger for RA. The research shows that it is particularly a trigger for people with genetic predisposition to the disease. You should try to quit smoking if you believe that you are at risk of developing it.
Try Different Workouts
You need to work different muscle groups and joints to treat or reduce your risk of developing RA. Some exercises will build the muscles along your back to help provide protection to your spine. Other workouts will strengthen your joints. Try to vary your exercises to reduce the risks of RA over time.