Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that many people suffer from. Conventional medicine is not the only way to successfully manage the condition – there are several natural therapies that can help. Read on to learn more.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
It is interesting to note that rheumatoid arthritis almost always follows a symmetrical pattern, meaning that the same joints on opposite sides of the body are affected. This is important as it helps to distinguish the condition from other forms of arthritis.
Generally speaking, it is important for the sufferer to eat a nutritious, balanced diet with plenty of whole foods, especially foods that are rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium. It may help to switch from a typical Western diet that is high in animal proteins and simple sugars to a diet that contains lots of berries, fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, seeds, and sprouts. Elimination diets are helpful to identify any potential food allergies, as food allergies aggravate and suppress the body’s immune system. These diets take certain foods out of the diet and reintroduce them one at a time. While they are useful, elimination diets should only be carried out under the guidance of a medical professional. See nutrition for more information.
The following supplements may be helpful for you:
Herbal medicine and herbs that have been traditionally used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include:
The herbalist may recommend that you take a single herb or a combination of herbs depending on your symptoms. No matter what herbs you take, it is important that you work closely with an herbalist to ensure that the herbs are both safe and effective. Other herbs that may be helpful include:
People with rheumatoid arthritis are treated on their individual excesses and deficiencies of qi located in the various meridians. Qi deficiency is usually located in the kidney and/or spleen meridians. Moxibustion may be used to strengthen the whole energy system. Localised acupuncture to the painful areas and related points may be utilised.
Chiropractors will not treat red, swollen joints and high velocity chiropractic manipulation is considered to be inappropriate in the areas of the body affected by rheumatoid arthritis. However, spinal manipulation in between flare-ups of the disease can decrease pain and improve joint mobility.
The goal of exercise is to maintain the range of motion, increase strength, endurance and mobility, and improve general health. However, you will need to maintain a balance between rest and exercise. Rest relieves inflammation while exercise relieves stiffness and weakness. It is best to listen to your body when you are exercising. If you feel sharp pain, always stop immediately.
Hydrotherapy is an old therapy used to relieve pain in arthritis sufferers. Hydrotherapy is used to improve the range of motion, increase muscle strength, eliminate muscle spasm, enhance functional mobility, and ease pain.
Orthoses may be helpful for supporting and protecting joints. They are made from lightweight metal leather, foam, elastic, or plastic, and they allow some movement in the joint without restricting nearby joints. Examples of orthoses include braces, splints, and shock-absorbing soles.
Massage may also ne useful for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Homoeopathy and Rheumatoid Arthritis Homoeopathic remedies that may be useful for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers include: