If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you probably have days when you do not want to get out of bed because of the inflammation and pain caused by flare-ups. Even if you have been prescribed or take over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms, you still do not want to move. However, there are a couple of activity mistakes that you should not make during these flare-ups that could make your arthritis pain worse.
1. Moving as Little as Possible When the Inflammation in Your Joints Flares Up
On the days that it hurts your joints to even move, you may decide to take a day to lay around in bed or on the couch so that you do not have to endure the pain. While this may seem like a good idea, it could actually be counterproductive and cause you even more pain in the long run.
When you stay sedentary, even during a flare-up, your joints and muscles will tense up and stiffen. When you do go to move, such as walking to the kitchen or bathroom, you will find that your joints hurt even more.
Whenever possible, try to at least light stretches to loosen up the joints and surrounding muscles. This also encourages blood flow to the areas, which can help with facilitating your body's own response to the inflammation.
2. Engaging in Activities That Require High-Impact, Repetitive Movements
While staying active even during your arthritis flares is important, you also want to make sure that you avoid engaging in the wrong activities. If you perform exercises that require high-impact, repetitive motions, such as running or power walking, the stress of the impact could further inflame your joints.
You also want to avoid making too many repetitive motions, such as playing a game or typing for hours. These motions can irritate the same joints because of constant movement.
If you have to engage in these activities, take a break. During your breaks, stretch out your muscles in different directions to relieve the tension in the affected joints while getting the blood flowing back to them.
Staying active and choosing the right activities could help to decrease your pain without making your symptoms worse. If you do feel that your pain is worsening or that your flare-ups come more often, speak with a rheumatologist about your condition so that they can come up with the appropriate treatment plan.