Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability

Having rheumatoid arthritis disability means you understand the daily challenges with some of the common things that most people take for granted. For instance, if you suffer from this condition you can relate to the challenges of brushing your teeth in the morning, using the telephone or even walking.

These activities will become celebrated milestones once you begin to overcome their difficulties.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability: what You Can Do

With nearly 1.5 million people suffering from arthritis in the United States alone, no one is immune to the possibility of acquiring the condition. The elderly population in particular sees an increase in the accumulation of symptoms and higher rates of acquiring the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder.

It is described as a chronic inflammatory disorder that usually affects the small joints in the hands and feet.  It typically affects the lining of the joints and causes painful swelling that can result in bone erosion over time and even deformation of the joint. 

Our immune system protects our body and our health by attacking any foreign antibodies like bacteria or viruses.  When dealing with an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks the wrong substances. 

In this case, the joints go under attack, resulting in inflammation and damage, not only to the joints themselves but also potentially to other organs and can even affect the heart.  Fevers and fatigue are also common symptoms associated with RA.

When we age, our body doesn’t always function as strongly as it once did, making people over the age of 40, and even more so over the age of 60, more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis disability.

It is important to know that while there is no cure for the disease, you can live a happy and productive life by taking some steps to slow down or halt its progression. Through a combination of rest, exercise, education, and medications, you can find ways to incorporate the activities of daily living back into your routine.

Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Provide Relief

It is important that you talk to your health care provider before starting any exercise program. 

When living with arthritis of any form, exercises for rheumatoid arthritis are crucial to keeping muscles, bones, and particularly joints strong.  Here are some exercises that can help with pain, flexibility, and strength:

Low-impact Aerobics:  A few minutes a day on an exercise bike or walking will keep your body moving and your metabolism running.  This will improve your physical health and maintain energy levels.  You can gradually increase the time but don’t overdo it, keep your expectations realistic. 

Strength Training: Lifting very light weights (for example one or two point weights) several times a week can help improve muscle quality and create stability in your joints.  Again, take it easy, heavy weights will put stress on your body and cause more inflammation in the long run.

Stretching: This is crucial and can be done daily, on all parts of the body from legs, to neck, to torso, to wrists.  Elongating your muscles creates flexibility and eases stiffness and pain.

Living with rheumatoid arthritis disability does not have to be viewed as a dire, somber diagnosis.  Like millions of other people in the world, you too can live with the disorder and have a productive and active life.

You may also be interested in the related pages listed below.

Related Pages:

Early Symptoms of Arthritis You Should Know
Elderly Arthritis: Signs & Aids for an Easier Life
Arthritis Water Exercise to Ease Your Discomfort
Common Symptoms of Arthritis in Hands

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Related Links:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.  "Rheumatoid Arthritis."
Arthritis Foundation,"15 Ways to Workout with Arthritis."