Rheumatoid Arthritis: How to Relieve Morning Pain [Video]

    • Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pains and damage throughout the body.
    • It is a common problem for people with rheumatoid arthritis to experience joint stiffness upon waking up.
    • Some rheumatologists recommend some home remedies to relieve this pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis can greatly affect your day to day activities. Starting in the morning, people with arthritis can already experience stiffness and pain in the joints because of rheumatoid arthritis. According to Nathan Wei, a rheumatologist at the Arthritis Treatment Center in Fredrick,   how you manage morning pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis can affect your condition throughout the day.

Here are the pain-relieving ways that some rheumatologists recommend to follow to manage morning pain and stiffness.

1. Allot a Warm-Up Time

Kelly Clayton, a Ph.D. student who has rheumatoid arthritis, shares that she sets her alarm early, so she has enough time to curb the pain and extra stiffness she experiences in the morning.

Wei also recommends finding how long it will take you to loosen up and get moving for you to know what time you need to set your alarm.  

2. Use Heating Pads

Wei suggests using heating pads on your joints or using pre-warm dried clothes to manage pain and stiffness.

As for Clayton, she soaks in the warmth of an electric mattress pad for half an hour after waking up every morning to loosen up her joints. While soaked in an electronic mattress pad in a low setting, Clayton also checks her phone or read the newspaper.

3. Take a Hot Shower

After using the electronic mattress pad, Clayton also takes a hot shower or soak in a hot-water bathtub.

According to Magdalena Cadet, an attending rheumatologist and assistant professor at New York University School of medicine, taking a hot shower is a great way to boost blood flow in your joints, especially if you are using a handheld showerhead where you can apply warm water directly to the painful and stiff joints.

4. Do Simple Stretches

Cadet adds that stretching for about 5-10 minutes can also promote blood flow and lubricate the joints. Stretching helps ease pain and improve blood flow and nutrient supply in the joints. Bending your knees, moving your elbows and ankles around, and doing some simple tai chi and yoga poses can ease joint pain and stiffness.

5. Relieve Stress

Stress can worsen the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. To manage stress, Cadet recommends doing deep breathing or meditation.

6. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water has many benefits, including managing joint pain and stiffness. Water is vital in keeping the joints lubricated.

7. Use Pain Relievers

Taking pain relievers before bedtime can also help alleviate pain and stiffness, according to Wei. Pain relievers like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen effectively reduce joint inflammation. Wei warns to seek your physician’s advice before taking any painkillers because they can have side effects.

8. Have A Warm Bath at Night

Not only is it recommended in the morning, but it is also helpful to soak in a warm bath after a day’s work. A warm bath can help loosen the joints reducing chances of getting joint pain and stiffness in the morning.

Source: WebMD