Making Mornings Easier
Just getting ready for work is enough of a challenge when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It can feel downright overwhelming when you must get kids prepared for school or daycare at the same time, especially
when you’re in pain
. Arthritis Center of Lexington empathizes with your situation and wants to help. Below are several tips to make mornings a bit easier for you as a person with RA.
Give Yourself Extra Time and Plan Ahead
Building extra time into your schedule is the best thing you can do, especially if your RA has not flared up in a while, and the pain catches you by surprise. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to reduce tension on your joints and cartilage. Taking a few sips of water before you go to bed and as soon as you get up in the morning can be especially helpful. If you think you will forget, place a bottle of water on your nightstand. Here are some other strategies to try:
- Exercise in bed: In addition to medication and a good night’s sleep, completing some range-of-motion exercises before you get out of bed can help to manage RA pain. Start by turning your head side to side to help loosen your neck. Next, stretch the joints in your elbows, hands, shoulders and wrists. Once complete, move on to your lower body joints. These include your ankles, hips, knees and toes.
- Take a warm bath or shower: The morning stiffness of RA typically responds well to warm water because the heat prompts blood to move closer to your skin’s surface. If you decide on a bath, try to soak in the warm water for at least 10 minutes while exercising your joints.
- Exercise every day: Something as simple as walking for 15 to 20 minutes each day can increase the strength of your muscles. This, in turn, increases the strength of your joints. Eventually, you will find the balance between not overdoing it when you’re feeling good and causing a new RA flare and not exercising at all because your joints feel too stiff.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Your family, friends and even work associates often want to help but don’t know how. They might also fear offending you by taking over a task you can do for yourself. That’s why it’s so important to speak up and let others know your needs. Mindfulness meditation, where you focus simply on breathing, can help take your focus off RA as well.
Ask Your Doctor for a Referral to Arthritis Center of Lexington
You can take all the right steps to help you have an easy morning and manage your pain, but if you feel you need additional help and are not already a patient of ACLKY, speak with your primary doctor and obtain a referral for ACLKY today!