• Exercise can help reduce pain, and may slow joint damage and allow you to maintain a healthy weight. An appropriate workout can strengthen the muscle around the joint, resulting in less pain. Exercise programs for people with arthritis are developed by a health professional (such as a physiotherapist) and include 3 types of activity: flexibility (stretching, range of motion), strengthening, and endurance (aerobic, cardiovascular).

  • Protection of joints with orthotic devices such as splints, insoles, and finger ring splints will stabilize and protect joints. Orthotics can help keep the joint properly aligned so that you can continue to use your joints effectively. Occupational therapists assess your joints to determine if a protective device is needed, and then recommend the option that is best for you.

  • Healthy eating is an important part living well and taking control of your life. Although certain foods have not been shown to cause or cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA), eating healthy can improve your overall health. Healthy diet and nutrition can reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, increase your energy, build muscle and bone strength, and help control your weight.

  • A healthy weight is important for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Too much weight on the joints can lead to more joint disability and pain. If you are overweight, losing weight and maintaining a healthier weight can lighten the load on your knee and hip joints. Are you at a healthy weight? Try our body mass index (BMI) calculator and ideal weight range calculator.

  • Facing the challenges of living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be emotional, stressful, and frustrating. For many people, they may feel helpless, isolated, and experience mood swings and loss of appetite. Depression and sleep disruptions are common among people with arthritis. You can learn to cope with these emotions.

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