Each day can be different when you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It is a medical condition when your body’s joint linings are targeted by the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis affects both sides of the body simultaneously – both knees or both elbows, apart from also affecting other organs such as eyes, heart, lungs, nerves, skin, and even blood. To reduce the pain and stress caused by rheumatoid arthritis in your body, follow the shortcuts and tricks shared below. These will help you to conserve energy, stay organized, and ease the strain on your body.
Listen to your body
To better take care of your plans, and adjust your body accordingly, it is important to understand what is going on inside your body.
- Focus on long-lasting pain – If there is a pain in your body that lasts for more than an hour, or if you notice swelling in your joints after a particular activity, it means that your body has taken on way more than it can handle. You need to relax and reimagine how to perform the same task with a lesser stress level next time.
- Pace yourself – Spending each day while suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can seem like a marathon in itself. It is wise to pace your day and not sprint all day and get exhausted. Take breaks between tasks and never do two heavy-duty tasks in a single stretch.
- Move carefully – Refrain from putting stress on your joints. This will cause fewer injuries and less pain. While standing, make sure to keep a certain distance between your feet. For better balance, place one foot in front of the other. If there is a need to keep standing for a while, use a chair or a wall to lean on to reduce the load on your body.
- Reduce physical stress – Using a neck pillow or a rolled towel while working at a desk, or using a footrest to keep your ankles, knees, and hips at a 90-degree angle concerning your torso, can be a good step to reduce the strain on your muscles. Sitting or standing in one spot for too long can make you go stiff, and it can be avoided by moving around and stretching your body at regular intervals.
Make home tasks more manageable
Use the following list of cheats to manage household chores.
- Spread tasks over a weekly schedule – You need to break down your weekly household chores into smaller tasks, spread over each day of the week equally. For example, you can choose to do laundry one day, mopping the other. For mopping, you can break it down further by choosing one floor or room per day.
- Get the right tools – Tools such as dusters, brooms, and vacuums, are lightweight tools that make the chores easy so that you don’t end up putting a lot of stress on your joints.
- Gentle body movements – While cleaning your house, use a push motion (sweeping, mopping) instead of a pull motion. If your knees are feeling the pressure, either alternate between both knees to distribute the pressure equally or use knee guards. Alternate between sitting and standing tasks.
Run errands efficiently
Efficient management or daily errands does not seem to be on the top of the list for most people, but it can work wonders.
- Create an errand list – Preparing a list of what items you need for each room or each task will help you get the complete set of items from the market. Otherwise, you might forget to purchase an item(s) and then would have to make a second trip to get it.
- Place online orders for heavy items or when you need to order in bulk. These items will get delivered straight to your home.
- Advance planning –This is the most important step as you need to prepare a prioritized list of errands with the most important errand being on top and then follow it with the tasks in decreasing order of their importance. You will want to have the important tasks finished first, in case your body needs a rest due to fatigue or pain.
Keep cooking simple
Do not invest too much time or effort in cooking.
- Prepare multiple meals in one go – If you are in good health and feeling active, you should prepare multiple meals at once which can then be stored in your freezer or fridge for use on other days when you are in pain and can’t work.
- Hang utensils on a wall – the ones which you use frequently. This will save you time and effort when you have to use them next.
- Emergency plan – If you are having a bad day and just are not able to cook, you should have a list of vendors who can deliver healthy food items to your home.
Use tools to take pressure off
Certain devices can increase your comfort levels considerably and improve your capability to perform certain tasks. This will put less strain on your joints. Consider the following assistive devices to invest in:
- Heating pad
- Easy-grip utensils for the kitchen
- Handrails and a sturdy chair for use in the shower
- An extendable grabber tool that can help you reach items and open doors which are at some distance from you
- A spare can for your home or car
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you will need to take proper care of yourself. Taking the aforementioned points into consideration will help you live comfortably through it.