Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About myRAteam

3 Strategies That Help Me Manage My RA Symptoms

Posted on December 01, 2021
Article written by
Randi B. Likely

Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can mean that some days go perfectly and others present unlimited challenges. I never know when my symptoms are going to flare, but when they do, I’ve found some strategies that have helped me get through the day.

1. Taking Warm Baths

When my joints are really giving me trouble, I like to sit in a warm bath or soak my hands in paraffin wax. The warmth really helps ease my pain and allows me to relax at the same time, which is another way I find that I’m able to help reduce my symptoms during an RA flare. Warmth can also come from a heating pad or other means, and it has really helped me during flare-ups.

2. Planning Ahead

During my early days living with RA, I would wait for a symptom to arrive and then frantically call my rheumatologist to ask what I could do to ease the pain and stiffness, but now I talk to my doctor proactively. When I have an office visit, even if I’m feeling fine, I’ll ask, “If something happens, what can I take?” Because I want to have any medications or therapies at the ready rather than having to track down a busy doctor.

3. Remembering That Everyone Is Different

It can be really frustrating to read stories of other people with RA who were able to cure their symptoms with lifestyle changes, particularly when I’ve tried those same things and they made no difference for me.

Early on in my diagnosis, I would get caught up in these types of stories. For instance, I read an account of someone who didn’t have to take RA medication anymore after following a vegan diet — but I was following a vegan diet at the time, and I still had to take medications. Then I’d see that people had fewer flares after trying the carnivore diet. So it became clear that what worked for one person may not work for another.

I still listen to the stories of other people with RA, but I don’t get so caught up in it anymore. I know we’re all different, and that what works for other people may not work for me. Each of us living with RA is an individual with our own unique needs, interests, and journeys, and it’s important to remember that.

My Perspective articles discuss rheumatoid arthritis from a specific point of view. My Perspective articles don’t reflect the opinions of myRAteam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. Content on myRAteam isn't intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Randi B. Likely was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 16. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

After I first started experiencing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, I saw a series of health...

Why You Should Be Your Own RA Advocate

After I first started experiencing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, I saw a series of health...
After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 16, I went through a lot of challenges...

How My Service Dog Has Changed My Life With RA

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 16, I went through a lot of challenges...
While we all know the multiple things that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) takes from us and the bad...

My Perspective: What Has Rheumatoid Arthritis Given Me?

While we all know the multiple things that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) takes from us and the bad...
During the #ChronicLife experiment, in which I live tweeted for 48 hours, I announced that my...

Admitting the Inevitable: When Medications No Longer Work

During the #ChronicLife experiment, in which I live tweeted for 48 hours, I announced that my...

Recent articles

Some people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) wonder whether they should wear medical alert...

Medical Alert Bracelets and RA: Do You Need Alert Jewelry?

Some people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) wonder whether they should wear medical alert...
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) choose to limit or eliminate certain foods from their...

3 Reasons To Avoid Sugar If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) choose to limit or eliminate certain foods from their...
For people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), joint pain can be a common aspect of day-to-day...

Collarbone Pain and RA: What It Feels Like and Tips for Managing

For people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), joint pain can be a common aspect of day-to-day...
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can become a financial burden with expensive treatments and medical...

Nonprofit Resources for Affording Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can become a financial burden with expensive treatments and medical...
If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may have heard about kratom — an herbal supplement...

Kratom for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Is It Safe and Can It Help?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may have heard about kratom — an herbal supplement...
When most people think of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), they imagine joint pain affecting the wrists...

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Tailbone Pain?

When most people think of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), they imagine joint pain affecting the wrists...
myRAteam My rheumatoid arthritis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close