I've been saying for awhile now that there are things we can do to help ourselves through our hurting days...have you found what helps you yet? Are you still trying to find what helps? Have you given in or given up?
Today I'd like to share some information and tips that can help you live better with your pain. Now this article is geared to those living with RA but really? they're beneficial for those not living with it too. In fact...these steps are a good foundation for anyone looking to improve their pain management.
Now this information is not shared to take the place of direct medical care...but for your information and entertainment only. If you have any questions about what you read here....please go to talk to your doctor.
There are things we can do...and there are things that can even help us...what helps you? what do you do for you when you're hurting? Give it some thought okay? Could there be things you could add to your list of coping skills?
take good care of you and live your life for you....NOT your pain.
Start With Your Hips
Get your joints moving and warmed up beforeyou get out of bed. Loosen your hips with this quick range-of-motion exercise. Lie on your back and roll your legs in until your knees face each other. Then roll your legs out. Repeat five times.
Loosen Your Shoulders
Wake up your upper body. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift one arm until your fingers point at the ceiling. Lower the arm to your side and raise your other arm. Repeat five times.
Tap Into the Power of Music
Put on your favorite tunes. People with arthritis and other types of long-lasting pain who listen to music for an hour a day say they hurt less and have less disability. Doctors think it may cause the brain to release natural painkillers. The type of music doesn't matter. So crank up the country, or rock out to your heart's content.
Strength training helps your muscles support your joints. It can include lifting weights or using your own body weight for resistance. A morning workout helps you burn more fat throughout the day. If you've never lifted weights before, check with your doctor first. It's also a good idea to talk to a trainer or physical therapist about how to do each move.
(you don't need to go to a gym to work out and get stronger....even lifting soup cans for arm curls can help maintain our muscles)
Stretch in the Shower
Take a long, warm shower every morning. To ease stiffness even more, do some simple stretches while the water warms your muscles and joints. Shrug your shoulders, roll your neck, and circle your wrists. If it's hard to balance, use a shower chair and stretch while seated.
(if you find your balance is off in the shower...have you looked into support bars? do you have a non-slip mat on the bottom of the tub?)
Heat Up Your Clothes
Don't let your joints go cold when you step out of the shower. Run your clothes in the dryer while you're bathing, so they'll be nice and toasty when you get dressed. The warmth will ease stiffness and help get your body ready for the day's activities.
Boost Balance With Tai Chi
This traditional Chinese martial art is good for your mind and body. It's a gentle form of exercise that relieves arthritis pain and improves balance, research shows. When you do it in the morning, it may also help your focus. Contact your local Arthritis Foundation office for a tai chi program designed for people with arthritis. Sign up for a class, or get a DVD to use at home. You won't need any special equipment.
Walk With a Purpose
A morning walk is one of the best things you can do for your RA. Walking nourishes the joints and strengthens the muscles around them. It also gives you energy and helps you stay at a healthy weight. Give your walk a purpose to keep yourself motivated. Meet up with a walking buddy, bring your dog, or stride to the local coffee shop.
(bring along your music when you walk or even when in the mall...it helps to keep our minds occupied and off our pain or the loud noisy environment of a mall)
Use Errands for Exercise
Give this idea a try when you have too much to do to fit in a walk or workout routine. For instance, at the mall, walk down each wing of stores. (You never know what you'll find!) Pace yourself. If you tend to get tired in the afternoon, schedule your errands for early in the day.
Steer Clear of Pain
A few changes can make driving with RA more comfortable. Wear weight-lifting gloves if you have trouble gripping the steering wheel. Install a running board to help you step in and out of the driver's seat. And trade in your keys for a remote that unlocks your car and starts the engine. These small upgrades can add up to less pain and stress at the start of your day.
(I would also add for driving to bring along some supportive pillows or even a towel rolled up for the small of your back...support yourself okay?)
the above (except what's in the brackets)...comes direct from WebMD.com and all rights belong to them