Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis does not necessarily mean that you must be subjected to a life of pain and discomfort. The truth is that with care and attention, you can lead a comfortable, healthy, and long life. The trick is to follow through on your treatment, and to take care of your body. The latter may require you to make some lifestyle changes, and to pay special attention to your body. Although you may believe you are fully aware of how your body works, with a little extra attention you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to deal with the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, here are some tips to help you learn how to work with your body to get the most out of your treatment.
First, make sure you move your body each day. Make a conscious effort to move each of your affected joints each day, making sure to move each joint to its natural full range of motion. Do not push yourself or overexert yourself. Simply strive to keep your body naturally flexible. Also, you should avoid any activity or situation that will require you to move your joints beyond their normal range of motion. Do not attempt to move your body beyond its natural range of motion. This can harm your joints. Remember, as a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, your joints are susceptible to severe damage. Avoid incurring any damage by staying flexible, but not overexerting yourself.
To maintain proper joint health and flexibility, it’s important that you learn proper body mechanics. Learning good body mechanics means moving your body in a way that preserves good joint and muscle health, and that avoids causing strain on your joints. The most vulnerable areas include the hands and legs. Learning and maintaining good body mechanics will help you avoid causing stress to these important areas.
Another important thing to keep in mind when learning how to use your body for maximum effect is to always use the strongest muscle for whatever job or task you are trying to accomplish. This may mean that you will have to learn how to accomplish certain tasks using a different joint or muscle. For instance, if your rheumatoid arthritis is centered mostly in your fingers, you may have to learn to accomplish certain tasks without straining your hand. Some degree of creativity may be necessary to accomplish everyday chores.
Now more than ever before, new assistive objects and devices are available to those afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis to help them accomplish difficult tasks. Speak to your doctor or physical or occupational therapist about how to use such devices.
Finally, besides getting your share of physical activity and learning proper body mechanics, don’t forget that you’ll also need a good dose of rest to ensure your well being and good health. Avoid staying still in the same position for extended periods of time, but don’t hesitate to take your rest when you feel you need it.