Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I read some information about this disease that my doctor thinks I have ~ Rheumatoid Arthritis, on SP today and here are some highlights:
• Pain, swelling, limited motion, warmth and tightness around affected joints, which most commonly include the hands and wrists, feet and ankles, elbows, shoulders, neck, knees and hips, usually in a symmetrical pattern. Over time, joints may develop deformities.
• Fatigue, soreness, stiffness and aching, particularly in the morning and afternoon (described as morning stiffness and afternoon fatigue)
• Lumps or rheumatoid nodules below the skin
• Weight loss
• Low-grade fever and sweats
• Trouble sleeping
• Weakness and loss of mobility
Diet, Exercise and Rehabilitation Services Finding a balance between rest and exercise is crucial to managing rheumatoid arthritis. When your symptoms flare up — when your joints are sore, warm and swollen — take it easy and rest. You can continue to do range-of-motion exercises to keep your joints mobile, but be careful not to tire yourself or aggravate your joints. Avoid unnecessary walking, housework or other activities. When your joints feel better and when other symptoms, including fatigue and morning stiffness, are less noticeable, increase your activity. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking and lifting weights can strengthen weakened muscles without risking additional joint damage. If exercise produces more pain or joint swelling, cut back a bit.
Despite many claims, there are no dietary changes, supplements, herbs or other alternative therapies known to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis over a long period of time.
Having rheumatoid arthritis often means that you have to pay special attention to the way you move. An occupational therapist or physical therapist can offer suggestions and guidance as you manage ordinary tasks around your home and work. In addition, a therapist can provide special devices that can help you conserve energy and protect your joints during your daily activities. A splint, brace, sling or Ace bandage worn when your joints are especially tender can take the pressure off the joints and protect them from injury. A podiatrist may provide shoe inserts (orthotics) or even suggest surgery to improve pain and function in arthritic feet."
Whew! Okay, so here's where I'm at.....I need to balance exercise and rest...not push myself but not lay on the couch all day either! (as a side note, I am looking for a job right now as well, so I'm currently a stay at home mom. Although, I did get a call back today on one job - here's hoping!) So, how do I balance that? Walking seems to be okay, but sometimes even walking is just TOO much! Ever learning.....
If any of you know of any good stretches ( I bet there's some on this site), let me know.