Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Signs You Need to Change Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is tricky. Something that is working for you may not work after a few months. In fact, there is a huge possibility that you may require an occasional alteration in the plan of treatment, whether it means you have to change a medication or switch to a different kind of treatment. Here are a few signs that it is time to speak to your medical expert about changing your rheumatoid arthritis treatment:

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1. There is a flare.
There are some patients that may experience phases where their symptoms including, swollen joints, stiffness and fatigue, may worsen. This may happen because of stress, some other kind of illness, or at times for no reason. When something like this happens, the experts may recommend corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.


2. The medicine is not working anymore. If the symptoms of RA begin to show up again after a being under control for some time, it may be a signal that the medication is not working like it did. There are many people who tend to develop resistance to the medicines which makes it hard for the medicine to work. Keep in mind that such a change could be very subtle — the symptoms may not come back with equal force as before you began treatment. When a medicine gets less effective, it is important to switch. It is best to speak to a doctor and let the expert decide what is best.

3. More symptoms. If the RA has affected your finger joints but now you are also beginning to feel symptoms within your knees, make sure you see a doctor immediately. This could indicate towards a possible progression with the RA getting severe, and it could be indicating towards a need to change medications.

4. Remission. In case you are taking medication for your RA and have not had any major symptoms in 6 months, you may be undergoing remission. About 20 to 40% of individuals with RA reach the state of remission. And though medication is still advised, people taking biologics or DMARDs may be able to decrease their medications.

5. Infection. According to experts taking biologics may put you at risk for infection as the medication decreases the body’s immunity. Those suffering from RA may be at a risk for infections of the lung, and using certain drugs may increase this danger even further. When severe infections like a bacterial infection or flu occur, experts normally recommend stopping the use of biologics and DMARDs.

It is best to just go to your doctor if you are suspecting any kind of infection. While visiting your doctor for discussing any changes within your RA treatment, describe the symptoms thoroughly, make special notes of new pains or aches that you’ve noticed. Also, mention to your doctor if you are having a hard time carrying out everyday tasks, such as, brushing hair or holding a cup. Above all, never ignore the signs and avoid seeking help.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

5 Simple Exercises for Healthy Feet

You feet bear the weight of your body. Whether it is about running errands, standing all day long, or just doing your job that puts a lot of pressure on your feet, they are often the last thing that people think of taking care about. As a result, most of them often suffer from sore feet, foot and ankle pain, or other foot disorders. Perhaps you do not know that by doing a few simple exercises at home, you can strengthen your feet, alleviate soreness and pain, and enjoy better foot health and flexibility. Here are five such simple exercises:

Image Courtesy: Pexels 
1. Calf raise: This is ideal for strengthening your feet and the calves in addition to improving balance. Stand close to a doorway or a counter and hold on to it lightly for balance. Raise your heels a few inches until you are on your toes and your calf muscles feel a stretch. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and then return to your original position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

2. Toe splay: This improves control on your toe muscles. Depending on your level of comfort, you can do it on alternate feet or on both feet all at once. To do the toe splays, you need to sit up straight in a chair with your feet resting gently on the ground. Next, without straining your toes, spread them apart as much as possible, and hold this position for 5 seconds. Do this motion for 10 reps. Once you have built up some strength in your toes, you can make the exercise more challenging by looping a rubber band around your toes as it will offer a better degree of resistance.

3. Toe raise, point, and curl: This 3-segment exercise will strengthen all parts of your feet and toes. To do it, sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet resting gently on the ground. The first step is to keep your toes on the floor and raise the heels until just the balls of your feet remain on the ground. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then lower your heels to the resting position. The second step involves raising and pointing the toes upward. Hold this position for 5 seconds and afterwards, return to the resting position. The third step involves raising the toes and curling them inward in such a way that just the tips of your toes touch the floor. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then return to the resting position. Repeat every step 10 times.

4. Toe grip: This helps strengthen the foot muscles to boost balance. Drop a handkerchief, sock, or any other piece of material on the ground and make your toes grip and lift it off. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion 5 times with each foot.

5. Calf stretch: This avoids the plantar fasciae and Achilles tendons from getting tight. To do it, sit straight on a chair and stretch out your left leg in front of you. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and pull it back slowly so that there is a feel of stretch in the calf and the arch of your foot. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion on your right leg. Do it for a total of 10 times (5 on each leg).

Make sure to set aside a few minutes in your daily routine to do these exercises to make your feet stronger, more balanced, and healthy.