Rheumatoid arthritis is not caused by aging, instead this condition is caused when your immune system starts to attack your joints for an unknown reason. When your immune system attacks these areas inflammation results, and this causes pain, problems with joint movement and function, tissue and bone damage, deformities, and even fatigue and a higher temperature. This fever affects the entire body, not just the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful, and affects all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Because of the pain, which can be debilitating at times, many people take narcotic pain medications or other drugs to become more comfortable and increase their movement ability. It is possible to manage the pain of this condition without harmful drugs though, and using alternative methods can be just as effective at relieving your symptoms and pain as anything your doctor can prescribe. In addition there are no risky side effects or mental dullness that pain medication may include with drug free treatments.
One very effective technique that can help with rheumatoid arthritis involves the use of heat and cold compresses or packs. Applying heat or cold to the joints that are affected can give you some relief, and the choice will depend on whether the pain is acute or chronic. A general guideline is that cold compresses and ice packs will work best if you suffer from acute pain, while chronic pain will usually respond better to a heat pack or compresses. Another step that can help minimize your discomfort is to exercise as much as you can within your specific physical limitations. If you do not use the joints then they will start to stiffen up, increasing the pain every time you move them. Exercises for range of motion in each joint will prevent this, and help decrease your pain in the long term.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis it is important that you stay positive and upbeat as much as possible. Your mental attitude plays a big part in the pain you experience, and depression can cause pain to be felt more severely. If you start to feel down or have negative thoughts make a conscious effort to reverse this thinking pattern and try to look at any positive things in your life. Laughter is an excellent way to minimize pain from rheumatoid arthritis, and this has been scientifically proven regardless of the cause of the pain. When you laugh your brain releases chemicals which minimize the pain impulses and improve your mood, making the pain seem much more manageable. Fill your life with people who make you laugh and help you stay in a positive frame of mind. Other treatments that do not involve drugs can include massage, acupuncture, relaxation techniques and training, electrical stimulation which increases the natural endorphins released by your brain, topical applications which will decrease the pain sensitivity of the nerves, and others.