Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Rawatan Semulajadi

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) atau radang sendi merupakan sakit atau masalah biasa di kalangan orang yang telah berumur. Dalam kes yang teruk, biasanya doktor akan memberi ubat untuk menahan sakit, walaupun kesannya hanya buat sementara waktu. Kebanyakan ubat penahan sakit ini mengandungi steroid berlebihan yang akan memberi kesan sampingan negatif kepada pesakit.

Oleh itu, cara yang lebih selamat ialah dengan menggunakan rawatan semula jadi (secara natural). Mungkin kesan yang boleh dirasai agak lambat berbanding dengan pengambilan ubat-ubatan kimia sebagai ubat penahan sakit, tetapi cara rawatan semula jadi ini dijangkakan memberi kesan positif dalam jangkamasa yang panjang.

Beberapa rawatan semula jadi untuk sakit radang sendi atau rheumatoid arthritis (RA) dipanjangkan di bawah ini….

Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Looking for some natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, or RA? Natural therapies are popular today as people seek to control their health and healing. For those with RA, alternative techniques may let you have greater control of your pain and activities.

What Are Some Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis may range from moist heat, magnets, and massage to herbs, natural supplements, and relaxation remedies.

Although some of these natural treatments may help RA, none of these therapies is fully grounded in science and many have not been completely tested for side effects . Before you use any unprescribed remedy, always talk to your doctor.

How Are Heat and Cold Used for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Many doctors recommend heat and/or cold treatments to reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Cold compresses reduce joint swelling and inflammation. You can apply a cool compress or ice pack to the affected joint during an RA flare-up to help ease inflammation and pain.

You don’t want to overdo cold treatments. Apply the cold compress for 15 minutes at a time with at least a 30-minute break in between treatments.

Heat compresses relax your muscles and stimulate blood flow.

To use heat therapy, you can try a moist heating pad or a warm, damp towel. Many people like using microwavable hot packs. Don’t go too hot. Your skin should not burn.

You can also use heat therapy by standing in the shower. Letting the warm water hit the painful area on your body may help ease pain.

A hot tub is a good way to relax stiff muscles – and it’s enjoyable. (Caution: Avoid hot tubs or spas if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are pregnant.)

Can Magnets Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms?

Magnets are commonly said to be a helpful alternative therapy for rheumatoid arthritis pain control. Found at most natural food stores, magnet therapies come in a variety of forms, such as bracelets, necklaces, inserts, pads, or disks.

Most research on magnets has been done in people with osteoarthritis, the wear and tear type of arthritis associated with aging.

In people with osteoarthritis, some preliminary studies have shown that magnets improved joint pain better than a placebo in people with knee or hip arthritis. Doctors do not understand exactly how magnets might relieve pain.

It’s unclear if magnets might also help those with rheumatoid arthritis.

What About Mind/Body Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Many studies have reviewed the use of mind/body therapies for rheumatoid arthritis pain. Mind/body therapies may be helpful when added to conventional treatments.

Mind/body therapies may help with stress management. They can help improve sleep and pain perception.

Deep abdominal breathing: Taking deep, slow breaths from the abdomen (not the chest) can help alter your emotional state. Deep breathing can make a stressful moment lessen in intensity.

With deep breathing, you can decrease stress hormones. Deep breathing also helps slow your heart beat during stressful moments.

Progressive muscle relaxation: Concentrating on different muscle groups, contract then relax all of the major muscle groups in the body.

Start with your head, neck, and arms. Then contract and relax your chest, back, and stomach. Finish by doing your pelvis, legs, and feet.

Along with muscle relaxation, use deep breathing. Breathe in while tensing the muscles. Breathe out or exhale while relaxing the muscles.

Visualization: Visualization can help reduce stress and pain. With this exercise, you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine that you’re in a quiet, peaceful place.

Using visualization during stressful times can be soothing and refreshing.

Meditation: Meditation brings about relaxation and stress reduction. It can slow the heart rate and breathing. Meditation reduces stress and helps with pain perception.

Those who practice meditation tell of having decreased anxiety and depression. They also report increased concentration and resilience.

Tai chi: Studies are being done on tai chi for pain reduction. The movements of tai chi are gentle, graceful, and mystical.

For those with arthritis, tai chi is a safe way to relieve pain. Tai chi can help increase range of motion and joint strength.

Some believe that tai chi has a spiritual component. Tai chi allows people to practice mindfulness as they focus in the moment and away from the pain.

Acupuncture: With acupuncture, the practitioner uses stainless steel needles to stimulate the major pathways — called “meridians” — in the body. The goal is to stimulate various points targeted at specific areas of the body.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe acupuncture can heal imbalances of energy, or “qi.” The practitioner tries to restore balance to the sick body and boost the immune system. It’s believed good health happens when qi flows unrestricted throughout the body.

Some doctors believe acupuncture needles decrease pain by triggering pain-blocking chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are known as the body’s natural opioids. Other theories suggest that acupuncture may block pain signals.

Although little research has been done on people with rheumatoid arthritis, acupuncture studies do show an improvement in pain, particularly in people with back pain. Some studies have also shown a decrease in pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Biofeedback: With biofeedback, you learn to control automatic responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. By placing electric sensors on the body, information is sent to a monitor. You then have to react to stimuli such as thoughts, pictures, or sounds.

Working with a therapist, you’ll study your body’s reactions to the stimuli. The therapist will help you recognize feelings of increased tension and teach you ways to calm yourself.

There is insufficient medical evidence to determine how well biofeedback helps pain from arthritis.

Are There Safe Supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are a few rheumatoid arthritis studies that show some benefit for certain supplements and natural remedies. However, the research is preliminary, so the true impact these supplements may have on RA is uncertain.

Keep in mind that even natural supplements can interact with other medications. Be sure your doctor is aware of all drugs and supplements you are taking.

Supplements for RA that have the best medical research to back them up include:

Borage. Some studies show that borage seed oil along with anti-inflammatory painkillers can reduce RA symptoms. These findings show reduced tender and swollen joints of RA after six weeks. Borage seed oil appears to be safe but may cause soft stools, diarrhea, and bloating. Borage seeds and other plant parts, such as the leaf or flower, may contain substances that are potentially harmful to the liver. Borage seed oil does not contain these harmful substances.

Fish oil. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements may help reduce morning stiffness with RA. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help protect against heart disease. People with RA are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Fish oil appears to be safe when used appropriately. Doses greater than 3 grams per day may increase the chance of bleeding.

Thunder god vine. A few studies have shown a decrease in pain and tender joints in people with RA taking this supplement. A large government-funded study is under way comparing thunder god vine with traditional medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. Thunder god vine appears to be safe. However, pregnant women should not take this supplement as it may cause birth defects.

References:

NCCAM: “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”
NCCAM: “The Use of Magnets for Pain.”
Session 3: Joint Nutrition Society and Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute Symposium on “Nutrition and autoimmune disease” PUFA, inflammatory processes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis Today: “Supplement Guide.”
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
Sales D, et al. Fish oil supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis. Reumatismo. 2008 July-September;60(3):174-179.

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