Rheumatoid Arthritis (Holistic)
About This Condition
Is there relief for rheumatoid arthritis? RA is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks the joints and other body parts. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks the joints and sometimes other parts of the body. The cause of RA remains unknown.
The most common symptom of RA is joint pain and morning joint stiffness. Several joints on both sides of the body are usually affected, especially those of the hands, wrists, knees, and feet. Affected joints may feel warm or appear swollen. People with RA may have other symptoms, including weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and, occasionally, fever.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Although exercise may initially increase pain , gentle exercises help people with RA.1 , 2 Women with RA taking low-dose steroid therapy can safely participate in a weight-bearing exercise program with many positive effects on physical function, activity and fitness levels, and bone mineral density, and with no aggravation of disease activity.3 Many doctors recommend swimming, stretching, or walking to people with RA.
The role of manipulation in managing RA has received little study. In one small controlled trial,4 patients with RA were found to have more tenderness at certain body locations compared to healthy people. Six minutes of gentle spinal manipulation decreased this tenderness temporarily in the spinal areas but not in areas around the knees or ankles. The effect of manipulation on the symptoms or progression of RA has not been investigated.
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
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Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
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1. Kay DR, Webel RB, Drisinger TE, et al. Aerobic exercise improves performance in arthritis patients. Clin Res 1985;33:919A [abstract].
2. Harkcom TM, Lampman RM, Banwell BF, Castor CW. Therapeutic value of graded aerobic exercise training in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthrit Rheum 1985;28:32-8.
3. Westby MD, Wade JP, Rangno KK, Berkowitz J. A randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an exercise program in women with rheumatoid arthritis taking low dose prednisone. J Rheumatol 2000;27:1674-80.
4. Dhondt W, Willaeys T, Verbruggen LA, et al. Pain threshold in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and effect on manual oscillations. Scand J Rheumatol 1999;28:88-93.
Last Review: 06-05-2015
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.
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