Many of them are simple, like using heat and ice packs. Others, like acupuncture, need a trained pro.
If you want to try natural and home remedies, ask your doctor what would be most helpful for you and if there are any limits on what’s OK for you to try. If he gives you the go-ahead, you might want to look into some of these common treatments:
Heat and Cold
Many doctors recommend heat and cold treatments to ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Each offers different benefits:
Cold: It curbs joint swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the affected joint during an RA flare-up, for instance. Just don’t overdo it. Apply the cold compress for 15 minutes at a time. Take at least a 30-minute break between treatments.
Magnet therapies come in a variety of forms, such as bracelets, necklaces, inserts, pads, or disks. You can find them at most natural food stores.
Most research on magnets involves people with osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear type of arthritis linked to aging, not RA.
In people with knee and hip osteoarthritis, some early studies have shown they improved joint pain better than a placebo. Doctors don’t know exactly how magnets might relieve pain, and there’s no clear proof that they actually help people with rheumatoid arthritis.
This traditional form of Chinese medicine is one of the oldest natural painremedies around. It uses super-fine needles to stimulate energy along pathways in your body called meridians. The goal is to correct imbalances of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”). There isn’t a lot of research specific to RA, although studies do show it lowers levels of chemicals in your body linked to inflammation. It also helps with chronic pain, especially back pain. It may also help with osteoarthritis.
Since it involves needles that need to be clean and properly placed, ask your rheumatologist to recommend a practitioner who works with people that have RA.