Medical Equipment Blog

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I have rheumatoid arthritis and am seeking alternative ways to treat pain. My physician prescribes me Norco, which is a narcotic pain killer, an opiate to put it precisely, which can have devastating side-effects in the long term. As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to experience gastrointestinal problems, hence my seeking alternative measures to manage my pain. What advice can you pass along? I’m glad you asked. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease that a lot of people don’t know much about. Most people figure it’s the same as arthritis when, in fact, they’re very different from one another and RA is much more severe. RA is considered an auto-immune disease. This means the body literally attacks itself as it would a virus. The white blood cells in the body, that normally hunt harmful bacteria and viruses, assault the soft tissues of the joints causing extremely painful damage. To this day, experts are not sure why the white blood cells do this. Nonetheless, ongoing scientific research is diligently being conducted to find an answer and thereby treat the disease. Unfortunately, with the absence of a cure, many physicians rely on pain management to ease the difficulty of coping with RA. This usually means the prescription of strong medications and narcotic pain killers, as you mentioned above. Such a treatment plan may ease the pain of RA but with damaging side-effects. One way to treat pain associated with RA is through the use of a TENS Unit. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS Units work by sending electrical impulses to certain parts of the body that block pain signals to the brain as well as activating the release of endorphins and encephalins, the body’s natural analgesics. TENS Units therapy works via electrodes. These electrodes are applied to the surface of the skin at the area experiencing pain. When the unit is turned on, a mild electrical current is sent through the electrodes. Just a slight tingling sensation is felt beneath the skin. By effectively managing pain without drugs, TENS allows many people with chronic pain conditions to resume their daily activities. For more information on these products, read this TENS Unit Information Page. Eating foods low in fat and high in fiber will also help to manage your weight, which will keep the pounds off. This leads to better bone health. Eating the right foods, combined with a regular exercise regimen, can make it easier for your body to fight RA. Here are few things to include in your diet that are known to help people with RA.:
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Olive Oil
  • Antioxidants
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Ginger
  • Tumeric

Here are some alternative pain remedies to consider:

  • Exercise (in fact, increase the amount you do)
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Supplements (Bromelain, Boswellia, and Tripterygium)

Hope this helps you.


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