Lifestyle Changes to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and return your normal level of functioning. They include:
- Appropriate rest
Reasonable, careful exercise can help improve mobility and flexibility. Exercise can strengthen your muscles, which may help keep your joints more stable. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. You’ll need to tailor your exercise program to be protective of the joints that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. You may be advised to consult an exercise physiologist or physical therapist to help you design a safe exercise plan.
Get Appropriate Rest
It is important that you get appropriate rest. Yet it’s also important that you stay as active as you possibly can. Talk to your doctor about how to strike a balance so that you are well rested but still getting adequate exercise.
When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Always contact your doctor if:
- Your symptoms don’t improve with the recommended changes
- Your symptoms worsen
- You develop any new symptoms
Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/ .
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .
Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2000.
Conn’s Current Therapy . 54th ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2002.
Last reviewed October 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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