Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most disabling autoimmune diseases. It is a chronic disease caused by a faulty immune system. It causes a lot of pain, stiffness in the joints and swelling. Though this disease can attack any joint in the body, the smaller joints in the hands and feet are most involved.
The exact cause is unknown but it has been established that the autoimmune system begins to produce substances that attack the joints. The stiffness and the swelling make the joint very painful and tender. Alternative therapies and natural remedies enable you to manage the pain and increase your movement and mobility.
Ways to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Contract and relax your all the major muscle groups in the body. Begin with the muscles of the upper body. First contract the muscles of the neck then relax them. Do it rhythmically for two minutes. Then do the same with the muscles of the shoulders and the arms. Shift to the chest, back and stomach. Lastly contract and relax the muscles of your pelvis, legs and feet. This technique tones up the muscles, increases their flexibility and reduces the pain.
Deep breathing causes a greater flow of oxygen to all the tissues and cells in the body. It relaxes the muscles and eases the tension and pain. Sit straight on a mat in a cross legged position. Join the thumb and index finger keeping the rest of the fingers straight and rest your hands on your knees.
Inhale as deeply as you can and hold your breath for five seconds. Exhale slowly and again hold your breath for five seconds. Repeat this process for ten to fifteen minutes every morning and in the evening.
Dip a clean cotton cloth in chilled water. Squeeze out the excess water and fold the cloths several times to form a compress. Apply the compress on the joint and keep it there till the cloth loses its chillness. Dip it again in the cold water and repeat the process for fifteen to twenty minutes. Apply three or four times regularly. The cold compress eases the swelling and minimizes the pain.
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If you are uncomfortable with cold compresses you can use hot compress. Use a moist heating pad or else you can use a damp hot towel. Dip the towel in a basin of hot water and wring it. Wrap the hot towel around the joint. As soon as it loses its heat dip again and repeat the process.
Keep the hot compress for twenty minutes and apply it three times a day. The moist heat reduces the swelling, stimulates the blood flow and relaxes the muscles.
Fish oil provides vital nourishment to the bones and muscles and corrects the function of the immune system. Fish oil is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are invaluable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. They detoxify the body by removing all the free radicals from it, enhance the immunity system and reduce the inflammation. They also provide a great relief in the pain and stiffness of the joint. Take a teaspoon of fish oil every morning.