Protecting your joints is a “key factor” in managing rheumatoid arthritis, Ziminski says. When carrying or moving objects, use larger joints — or your whole body — rather than putting stress on small joints in your hands and wrists. For example, carry heavier objects on your arms, not in your hands. Open a door by leaning against it rather than pushing with your hand. An occupational or physical therapist can offer more ideas for managing rheumatoid arthritis.
During RA flares, pain and inflammation become particularly intense. Good steps for managing rheumatoid arthritis flares, according to the Arthritis Foundation, include working with your doctor to adjust your medications or when adding new medications during the flare, getting more rest while making sure to remain active, getting more help with daily tasks, using muscle relaxation or other stress-relieving practices, and placing hot or cold packs on joints affected by inflammation.
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