What you can do
It’s a good idea to take care of your body if you have RA. Self-care, like proper diet and appropriate exercise, along with the RA medications your doctor prescribes, can help you manage your symptoms.
While no special diet has been proven to relieve RA symptoms, certain studies show that some foods, such as fish oil, may reduce inflammation. A healthy diet emphasizing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help people with RA maintain their overall health. Eating a healthy diet can also help to control body weight. This may be especially important for people with RA, as excess weight puts added stress on joints in the feet, knees, hips, and neck.
It is important to consult your physician before starting any diet regimen.
Exercise may help people with RA in many important ways. It can help people maintain strong muscles, flexibility, and joint mobility. Exercise may also promote a sense of well-being, improve sleeping patterns, and help manage weight.
While it is important to exercise regularly, exercising too often or too strenuously may be harmful to the joints. During exercise, people with RA should maintain good posture and a slow, steady rhythm. Jerking or bouncing can put too much stress on joints. Also, people with RA should avoid exercising injured, tender, or severely inflamed joints.
When deciding on an exercise plan, it’s important to have a discussion with your doctor that takes into account both your physical abilities and limitations.