Many people with rheumatoid arthritis believe there's nothing they can do to ease their pain and stiffness, but they're wrong.
Give the following self-care steps a try:
Lose weight. Every extra pound you carry translates to added stress and pain to your knees and hips. Too much weight also increases your risk for gout.
Get moving. Exercise helps lessen pain, helps with weight loss, increases range of movement, reduces fatigue, and helps you feel better overall, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Your doctor, a physical therapist, or other health care professional can teach you beneficial range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.
Protect your joints. Avoid excess stress on joints by learning how to do chores and activities in less stressful ways. An occupational therapist can show you how to manage everyday tasks with less strain and pain.
Learn to pace yourself. Spread out difficult activities over a week's time instead of trying to do them all in one day and then suffering for several days afterward.
Stretch. Stretching is a simple way to keep joints and muscles flexible. It relieves stress and can help you maintain your daily activities with less stiffness.
Adjust your attitude. Try to maintain a positive state of mind about your condition and how it affects your life.