Turning to a natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is an option you can consider. Such a treatment does not usually involve the use of prescription medications and would have virtually little or no side effects.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that refers to the inflammation of your joints. When your joints are inflamed, you experience pain, swelling, stiffness and general discomfort. It results from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby your immune system starts to attack its own body tissues. It is also considered a progressive disease. This means that over time, your arthritis symptoms can worsen.
There are over 100 different classifications and types of arthritis. It is likely that if you have been diagnosed with one of these, your doctor would have prescribed you the appropriate drugs for it. Although drug medication can be used effectively to treat many kinds of arthritis, there are potential side effects when you become over dependent on them for arthritis pain relief.
Here is a quick run-down on some of the newest and most popular natural rheumatoid arthritis treatments. They may be used alone, or in conjunction with each other.
Physical therapy. This is a very popular natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as it is highly effective. In many cases, regular prescribed exercises can even improve the range of physical motion substantially. Physical therapy can also help you deal with muscle and joint stiffness, increase muscle strength, and reduce allover pain.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing method that dates back more than 3,000 years ago. It is used to effectively treat the symptoms of arthritis, in addition to other health ailments. Acupuncture is a procedure used in which specific body areas (or meridian points) are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes or to relieve pain or produce regional anesthesia.
As a natural treatment method, acupuncture is fast gaining popularity in America and other western countries. By 1993, Americans were making 12 million visits per year to acupuncturists, and spending $500 million annually on acupuncture treatments. By 1995, there were an estimated 10,000 certified acupuncturists practicing in the United States; as of 2000, there were 20,000.
Acupresure. Acupressure is another ancient Chinese form of therapy that has been used for thousands of years. It is also used to as a natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast to acupuncture, here, the acupressure practitioner uses his or her fingers instead of needles. Studies have shown that acupressure seem to release endorphins in patients, causing feeling of pleasantness and comfort. It appears that acupressure has strong anti-inflammatory healing abilities for rheumatoid arthritis.
Relaxation therapy: Relaxation therapy is a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates several different therapies working toward a common goal. The goal of relaxation therapy as a natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to release muscle tension and joint rigidity to reduce your overall pain and discomfort. The different relaxation therapies include meditation, yoga, stretching exercises and Pilates.
Hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is fast becoming a popular therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients as it is fun and can be very effective. It involves a series of water exercises, usually done in lukewarm water. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis report that the feeling of warm water helps to relax them and provide much relief from their pain.
In addition, several studies have shown that hydrotherapy is an effective therapy that helps reduce the weight and pressure on the joints. The warm water relaxes the muscles and helps reduce the feeling of stiffness. Hydrotherapy is also effective in weight management, which is particularly important if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is often used as a complementary and natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. In occupational therapy, you learn how to use their body parts more efficiently. Occupational therapy helps in ensuring that you can go about your everyday chores and tasks so that less tension is placed on the joints. Specially made splints are often used to help patients accomplish certain tasks without placing excess pressure on their joints. You and your occupational therapist can work together to tackle any specific challenges that you face. Your occupational therapist can design specific exercises for this purpose and train you in the use of special assistive devices.
Hot and cold therapies. These therapies take advantage of the effects of certain temperatures on the joints. Compresses, ultrasound devices, and warm wax may be used to apply heat to the joints. Ice packs may be used to apply cold temperatures to the affected areas. The efficacy of heat and cold therapies varies according to the patient.
In most instances, the benefits of using the above mentioned natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis outweigh any instant results, but far more damaging, derived from consuming drugs and medication. The only drawback is that usually a natural treatment does not produce instant reliefs. You may need to use it over a period to know if it works for you. It will also be a good idea to maintain a journal to keep track.