All of us know what it feels like to get up from bed with an ache in the back or stiff knees. But for those who have chronic inflammatory arthritis, a condition in which our immune system begins to attack the body’s healthy cells considering them nonself resulting in pain and inflamed joints.
Some approaches are mentioned below that are backed up by some evidence and approved by a few experts:
Apply some pressure
In case your muscles and joints do not feel too tender, massaging those areas can offer delightful relief from the misery of inflammatory arthritis. The most helpful hands-on approach is gentle pressure massage. Tiffany Field, a professor of pediatrics, and psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and, also director of the Touch Research Institute, claims that “When you move the skin, you’re increasing the activity of the vagus nerve, a large nerve that connects the brain with other parts of the body, including the heart and lungs. This slows down the production of cortisol, the body’s chief stress hormone. You’re also increasing the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps diminish pain.” An adequate amount of study backs up Field’s claim.
In another investigation, researchers discovered subjects who were given a moderate-pressure massage to the knees, reported decreased pain and a vaster range of motion.
Field says “It’s important to have a daily dose of some kind of pressure to the skin”. She also suggests taking a once-a-week massage from a licensed massage therapist and practicing on your own a daily 10-minute self-massage with your hands, at home between sessions.
Turn up the heat
Inflammatory pain relief might be as simple as knocking back a tablet. “There are nutritional supplements that have been proven beneficial for inflammatory conditions, and one that has been best studied is turmeric,” says Chrystina Jeter, M.D, assistant clinical professor of pain medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Comprehensive Pain Center.
The deep yellow spice, generally used as an element in curries, has been adopted for a long time by Indian and Chinese doctors as a medicine for its healing qualities. It’s not turmeric itself that alleviates pain and swelling, but curcumin – an active constituent in turmeric. The researchers consider that it inhibits specific enzymes and a group of proteins called cytokines that result in inflammation.
Start eating salmon
The orangey-pink fish is full of health benefits and now adds itself to the list of food that provides pain relief. In research by Arthritis Care & Research, participants were told to consume particular foods from a given list. Fatty fish received the highest marks in improving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Tuna, mackerel, and sardines are also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which block the activity of leukocytes and cytokines. Both of these perform major roles in inflammation.
Working out might appear kind of offending when you’re coping with achy knees or a painful elbow. But maintaining muscle strength, while keeping your body flexible and maintaining range of motion is critical. Or else, underutilized limbs grow weak, which makes it even more uncomfortable when you move around.
“Muscle strength is especially important because you need muscles to absorb the impact that may occur when you’re walking around or doing other activities. Think of it as maintaining a shock absorber around the joints,” says Jonathan Samuels, M.D., associate professor of medicine of rheumatology and also the co-director of the Joint Preservation & Arthritis Center at New York University (NYU) Langone Health.
Strengthening workouts are also advantageous for keeping bones healthy since people having rheumatoid arthritis easily get osteoporosis.
Cut out on stress
Study reveals that stress and pain feed on one another. Biofeedback therapy can assist you to break the cycle by transforming the way your body reacts to pain. As says Darcy Mandell, associate staff psychologist in the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, Cleveland Clinic, “Being aware of your body’s stress response, and learning to decrease it, is particularly important for inflammatory arthritis.”
“When you practice these techniques and become good at them, you can calm yourself anywhere,” claims Jeter.
Additionally, research proposes that managing anxiety can result in pain relief. Mandell says, “Inability to regulate or decrease the stress response system can lead to activation of autoimmune chemicals that prompt flares and Biofeedback can change some of the biological mechanisms that affect how often patients have those flares.”
You can consult a certified practitioner or measure your responses to stress at home with the help of a stress thermometer. It uses your hand temperature to measure stress. The warmer your hands are the more relaxed you feel.
How low-dose naltrexone (LDN) work for rheumatoid arthritis?
Regardless of autoimmune etiology and cases of adequacy, there is a shockingly little examination on LDN in rheumatoid and seropositive joint inflammation. In the event that adequate, it is conceivable that beginning LDN could fundamentally diminish the requirement for analgesics and sickness changing antirheumatic drugs.
Low Dose Naltrexone
This option is quite interesting. Some doctors are using a strong medicine – naltrexone, which is normally used to treat opioid addiction. It is being prescribed as an off-label treatment and in extremely lower doses, for a host of inflammatory pain diseases like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
How investigators suspect low-dose naltrexone (LDN) performs its action: In several chronic conditions involving pain and swelling, the glial cells of the nervous system get over-responsive and discharge cytokines in abundance, which result in inflammation and enhanced pain sensitivity. “We think that low-dose naltrexone slowly [gets] into the central nervous system and calms down the glial cells so they stop secreting so many cytokines, and over time, pain improves because the central nervous system isn’t so revved up and irritated,” says Jeter.
Two main reasons why low-dose naltrexone (LDN) attracts so much attention from physicians is that there are very few side effects, and the medicine does not lead to dependency. “It’s being studied for use in several conditions,” says Jeter. He prescribes low-dose naltrexone (LDN) to avoid giving an opioid for chronic pain.