Posted 1/7/2017 8:45 PM (GMT -6)
I'm sorry that you are suffering from RA but Welcome to the HW Forums. I presume that you have severe RA? There are many of us in the same category. I was the 2nd one in our Family to get severe RA and I had my first symptoms at age 24, shortly after my Child was born. My Cousin got it at age 10(Juvenile RA), Aunt at age 30, my Dad at age 68, my younger Brother at age 45, my Sis at age 46. I'm sure there are more though. Thus, ages vary greatly. Most common is between ages 40 - 65 and more females than males.
If you have only had these symptoms since you are 20 years old then you are in the early stage but you must get help quickly in order to delay complications from RA.
Are you on any prescription medications for RA? It is important to get a good Rheumatologist. It is very important to treat RA aggressively from the beginning, so as to get the RA under control as soon as possible, to save a person from becoming crippled quickly. Many of these medications can take 3 - 6 months before a person feels better. If a person with RA is in very bad shape, their Rheumatologist may prescribe Prednisone or an injection of Cortisone in the most painful joint. This is for short term use only or unless the person is resistant to most of the RA medications/other therapies.
-You could try a warm bath or shower to relieve some of the pain. Some folks use Epsom salts in the bath.
-I use the warm microwave bean bags(or electric heating pads on separate joints. Some use the warm bags for 20 minutes then the cold packs for 20 minutes, repeat or visa versa. I have secondary Raynauds, so I cannot tolerate cold on my joints
-Dress warmly while inside and especially when spending time outside, if you live in the colder regions part of the year.
-Exercise is always good but be careful to do so in moderation daily or so. Overexertion of exercise will not cause good results to the diseased joints.
-Since you drive a truck, you should get a customized seat or seat insert made for you, if possible. Or get someone(or yourself) to make a comfortable seat insert for yourself. Usually after 45 minutes of driving, I also have to get out of the vehicle to get my joints moving or after sitting or standing too long.
- I received accupunture by 2 different Drs., suction cup therapy on the back neck area(forget the name), Dr. Scholls massage mat, removing certain foods from my diet, etc. These did not work for me, although they have for some others. It may work for you since we can react differently to different stimulii.
-Yoga, Mindfulness, Tai Chi, Deep Massage(Chiropractor) works for some also, if you have the time.
-Write a list of questions before you see your Rheumatologist. Write a log to keep track of your symptoms and possible side effects from medications to share with your Rheumy(RA Specialist).
-Some use Voleran Gel, RUB A535, Blue Ice, etc. These sometimes work for me depending on the Barometric Pressure.
That's all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully other members will drop in with other suggestions/experiences for you to consider. Ask us questions and vent/speak out if you need to.. We may know the answers. Best Wishes to your future of RA remissions.