Ideas for Relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Adjustable laptop holderPlease enjoy the blog carnival on Relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain and list your favorite non-medical pain reliever in the comments box!

As promised, this picture is my entry for the blog carnival! My mom recently sent me this laptop stand with mini shelves to hold a tablet or a cup of hot tea. This should make it easier on my neck when I have to work from bed. It may be used with the sofa as well – I’ll let you know! Thanks to Katie Beth and Tiger for assembling and photographing it for me today!

What brings you relief?

Anyone shopping for you might be interested in reading what brings comfort or helps in relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and disability. Over the past two weeks, we’ve collected a long list of things to bring relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis on the blog comments. Here’s a list of some popular answers and some special Rheum Helps Blog Carnival posts specially created to help us all find comfort!

Popular ways relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis pain

Pin me! Over 100 ways for Relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Book holders
Gas cap wrench
Lever doorknobs
Heat, heat, and heat
Rubs, creams, and sprays like Voltaren / diclofenac (prescription), Aspercreme, ibuprofen, or Biofreeze
Soft mattress cover / feather bed
Mineral salt baths
Compression gloves, IMAK gloves, & gloves without fingertips
Loved ones who care and help, including pets
Music
Chocolate and yummy treats
Electric openers for cans and jars

Help with relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis pain

Most painstaking research: Lene’s post is a thorough discussion of Reachers, an extremely important device many people with Rheumatoid arthritis use. It’s amazing how little most manufacturers know about what disabled people really need. Don’t buy a reacher until you read Lene’s post at The Seated View.

Most practical cup ever: Joan found the most practical cup ever (actually, thanks! to Joan’s sister). Check out The Essentials at her Life with a Flare for what else brings her relief.

Most unique device: Dana says he’s found the “Best Natural Pain Medication” of all in I’ve Got The Best Natural Pain Medication at What to Do for Chronic Pain. I have to agree that medical care is still essential, but we couldn’t survive Rheumatoid Arthritis without this “device.”

Most clever gadgets: I think you’ll want some of the things on Amber’s list at Journey to the Knot. Easing RA Pain is a brief organized list of clever helps for pain relief.

Most creative post: Connie at Reflections on Pain and Healing shares about her journey to learn ways to make her life easier and more comfortable. In One of my favorite things, she shows us how to make custom heat and ice packs. Two of my favorite things in one: heat and ice!

Most fuzzy solution: Karen says her goats and donkeys are her best distraction from Rheumatoid arthritis pain. Check out A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe? at El Rancho Asno Blanco

Most candid: Neen at Arthritic Chick gathered seven favorite things in Rheumatoid Arthritis and non-medical ways to ease the pain. There will be some stocking stuffers there for someone.

Most imaginative: Annette of Your Gold Watch sent Fairy Tales of RA, a creative account of her very favorite items. Some of my own necessities are on her list including a featherbed and duvet. It seems Annette and I agree that living with Rheumatoid disease reminds one of The Princess and the Pea

Exceptional effort: I’ve so enjoyed the photos posted by Elizabeth at Ancient Reptile. In My 10 Most Unusual Comfort Items, she shares ways she, her husband, and service doc have worked to make her life more comfortable in spite of Rheumatoid disease.

Many thanks to all of the fantastic blogs who contributed to this carnival! I hope you’ll take time to visit and let them know by commenting.

Update: The following entries were made after this page was published, but please do visit and read their valuable posts on this topic! 

Tanya’s Gift Guide for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients at Mom’s Small Victories

Lorna’s Brain fog lack of sleep a typical day in my life at Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis Is a Pain

Tanya M.’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Tools To Ease Painful Symptoms at Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cheryl’s Shopping with Arthritis: My favorite pain-reducing shoes at The Enthusiastic Life

EVEN MORE IDEAS

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

45 thoughts on “Ideas for Relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

  • December 21, 2012 at 8:10 am
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    I was very interested in the following blog:
    Most creative post: Connie at Reflections on Pain and Healing shares about her journey to learn ways to make her life easier and more comfortable. In One of my favorite things, she shows us how to make custom heat and ice packs. Two of my favorite things in one: heat and ice!

    However the link to me to Amber’s blog.

    You’ve shared the difficulties you are enduring at this time so please don’t take this as a complaint. Just something to fix when time, pain and fatigue allow.

    Thank you for voicing what I can’t. I refers hubby to your site quite frequently!

    Reply
    • December 21, 2012 at 8:18 am
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      I had some problems with my copy paste last night – didn’t finish till 2 am so I think it’s fixed now. Out the door after I go brush my teeth – thanks for letting me know so I could fix it!

      Reply
  • December 21, 2012 at 8:15 am
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    Pampered Chef has a jar opener that I love so much I will bequeath to one select loved one upon my death. 🙂 Spa socks — warm and loose so they don’t put pressure on my toes. Crocs — really the only shoes I can wear.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm
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      Melissa – I second, third and fourth your votes for Spa Socks and Crocs! I, too, cannot wear anything but Crocs. Certainly can’t go barefoot!
      Elizabeth

      Reply
    • December 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm
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      What a great list. I have that OXO Good grips jar opener and I LOVE IT. it opens everything for me. The electric blanket is great, but the electric mattress pad is even better. I love to turn it on long before I get into bed, so I never have to get into cold sheets again. Ginger is excellent….my acupuncturist had me make Ginger Tea every day when I was going to him for pain relief. It really helped. So many good ideas here. Thanks.

      Reply
  • December 21, 2012 at 9:59 am
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    I found “Kyani”. A friend turned me on to it. Their products are all natural do no side effects! Their Nitro Fx is awesome I use it topically on wherever my joints ache and it relieves my pain almost instantly! I carry it with me every where I go . I take the drops three three times a day under my tongue also and it helps your blood flow which we all need that, I no longer have Neuropathy in my feet. So for pain and blood flow this is my favorite pick for pain relief!

    Reply
  • December 21, 2012 at 11:06 am
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    I start every day with pomegranate juice (a natural anti-inflammatory) and end each day making sure my hands are open (not clenched closed) before I fall asleep.

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  • December 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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    I thank God for all the various soft items that can be put in the microwave to produce heat. I have them for the neck, the back, the knees, the hands, the feet, the shoulders…and I use them all at different times. Heat really helps with the pain. So does ice and when there is swelling involved I use it, too. I have told everyone I know who suffers joint or muscle pain to get these wonderful things and some of mine go with me whenever I take a trip! I just do not want to be without them. Can find at drugstores, Marshalls and TJ Maxx and many other places.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm
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    Kelly,
    All that is well and good ,but how do you get relief from
    pain ? Really, when your Dr says “Oh its not that bad” and gives you 50mg of tramadol every 6 hours for pain.you haven’t slept more then 3 hours a night because of pain.I have had it .I can buy pain meds on the street.I have had four RA dOCS This year who cannot or will not address my pain.I do not want to live my life like this
    Thank You, I Remain Bob West

    Reply
    • December 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm
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      Don’t give up !!!

      Reply
    • December 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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      Bob I am with you! I have been dealing with this on and off for 25 years now and am right now full blown with no relief in sight no matter what I try. And I have tried it all. The pain is so intense I feel it’s hard to go on any more. Prednisone is my only choice right now as it’s holiday time and I need to function. 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren don’t need to see this! Ct. Passed a new law for chronic pain and marijuana use. Have you tried this? I’m Thinking of giving it a try next. You are not alone! Bets

      Reply
    • December 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm
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      Bob, you may have to go to a pain specialist! I am fortunate, and I know it. Both my rheum doc and internist are cognizant of the pain involved with RAD, and ensure that I have plenty of pain med. Just about whatever I wanted I could get, but I restrict myself to hydrocodone at this point. My prayer each night is that every RAD patient will have docs as great as mine are.
      If you can’t get a “real” pain medication, all I can suggest is that you try every single suggestion from this blog carnival – and from all the other RAD bloggers you can find. You will eventually find something that will make your life easier – if not truly comfortable. Keep looking for a doctor who will help you. Don’t ever give up. It took me many years to settle down with these two main docs. I hate the thought that it will take more than one hour more for you and any others to find equally compatible MDs. God bless you! – Elizabeth

      Reply
    • December 27, 2012 at 10:21 am
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      Bob, try the Kyani Nitro Fx you take the drops and use it topicically. I don’t use any pain meds just this and it is natural no side effects. I am sick of being scared of what will happen to my kidneys or other organs if I take the medicines.

      Reply
  • December 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm
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    Muscle pain – I use spray on Magnesium chloride or the gel.

    If you can find a warm-water pool too. Or swim in the ocean when weather is hot.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm
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    I have a very soft scarf that I now keep on hand to fold across my lap to rest my elbows on. My elbows hurt so much lately, I can hardly stand for them to touch any thing.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2012 at 9:28 am
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      I have done that too Rebecca. Very soft pillow like my lightweight stuffed eagle works that way – who would believe it hurts us to even hold our bodies in what we used to consider “normal” ways, like resting on elbows, hands on hips, etc.

      Reply
  • December 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm
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    I love this website and am newly diagnosed. How can I find all 14 comments? I only see 10 and don’t see an arrow to get me to the other 4.

    Thanks!
    Kristina

    Reply
    • December 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm
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      Kristina,
      The “replies” to specific comments count as comments but are not numbered. Hope that helps! I found it a bit confusing at first too.

      Reply
      • December 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm
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        I get it thanks!

        Reply
  • December 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm
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    One of my favorites for wrist and hand pain is Wristies – http://www.wristies.com – which I put on before the pain starts. They also make one that you can put warmers in.

    Reply
  • December 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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    such a terrific carnival, Kelly. Thanks so much for having this idea!

    Reply
  • December 24, 2012 at 10:04 am
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    My favourite ‘comfort’ items would have to be, in no particular order; my memory foam topper and pillow, also my v shaped pillow. My wheat bags for that much needed instant heat, my kindle which I adore as this allows me to read for long periods and all I have to do is gently touch the button to turn the page, no holding of books either as I prop it up. The sweet treats go without saying!! My cats who always know just which part to lie on and warm up and of course my wonderful family who know just what I need when I need it. Also for those more energetic baking sessions, as many labour saving utensils and appliances as possible, I adore my processor and am hoping for a Kenwood mixer maybe next year!! I’d also like to say a special thank you to my greatest source of daily comfort, that is my wonderful support group, I love you all & I know many of you will read this blog post.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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      I highly recommend you hold out for a KitchenAid mixer instead. We tried to make do with a less expensive mixer but it failed completely on dough, which was a primary use we wanted. Sorry if I sound like a commercial but our KitchenAid has never let us down, nor has it let down anyone I know. Do look for a model with a heavy duty motor for best longevity. Your hands and arms will so thank you!

      Reply
  • Pingback: Rheumatoid Arthritis and non medical ways to ease the pain | Arthritic Chick

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm
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    Hi & Thank you for the work here!

    My very favorite pain fighter is my “Little Hot Water Doggie”, my Doxie, Hannah. She is superb at know when I’m really bad. I am usually in bed, with heating pad, soft, warm comforter & she gets in, heads to my feet or wherever & plasters herself to me…bliss!

    Other favorites, my HOT TUB!!!, which is the best & I don’t know how I lived without it! It is a small, oval one with slip resistant finish. Simple design, few jets, made for truly soaking. Most of the time, the jets hurt to much & I rarely use them.
    The other fave is the comforter mentioned above. It is a quilt, made entirely of flannel, with solid piece of flannel on the other side. It is quilted with medium weight batting, so it is not very heavy, but is lovely to warm up in. It was inherited & is very soft.
    We just refurnished our home with lever style handles on all the doors & It is such a relief! I would have never imagined what a difference that made.
    Thank you for posting all of the ideas! I am going to slowly check of each & every one!
    Warm & *gentle* hugs,
    Sherri

    Reply
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  • January 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm
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    Dealing with pain is tough so you need something that stands alone try this.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm
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    My favorite purchase in the last year are battery operated peeper and salt grinders. I love fresh ground pepper on everything. It was becoming increasingly difficult to use the old ones and creating more hand/wrist pain. My husband got the pepper one for my birthday from Williams Sonoma and we later added the salt one. Love them!

    Reply
    • March 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm
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      Those battery operated grinders are a “must have” in our home.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm
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    Need to purchase a new computer and thinking about a “touchscreen”. I’m wondering if other RA patients have any experience with this technology? Concerned about moving arm/shoulder back and forth to touch screen.

    Reply
    • February 17, 2013 at 10:08 am
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      I find my Ipad great for browsing ( very litle movement required, i surf without moning more than a finger) but not great for typing….

      Reply
  • February 19, 2013 at 12:18 am
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    One of the good way for relieving pain in non-medical way is by exercising regularly for half an hour and doing a bit of stretching to allow the muscles to strengthen and maintaining the healthiness of the joints and Epsom salt bath is also an aid in reducing the pain.

    Reply
  • September 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm
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    What about stem cells therapy, have you looked into this kind of treatment? it seems to fix, not just patch or diminish health problems including arthritis. I have a friend who works for a Stem cells clinic in Mexico and she told me they have great results for many degenerative diseases! What are your thoughts?

    Reply
  • November 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm
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    Is it appropriate to discuss medical marijuana? Dr’s had me on so much morphine my bladder quit working. I had to have a catheter for over a year. I took myself off morphine, tried pot….It worked! I’m bedridden but I don’t take pain pills,or even aspirin….But I take a lot of RA drugs +Enbrel. Oh yeah,
    My bladder started working again!

    Reply
  • December 19, 2013 at 7:51 am
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    Hello, I am Jessie. I didn’t list a website because my website does not deal with RA. This is me reaching out to whomever can help me. My family dr says that I have to see a specialist to have my bones recalcified. My dr says that in my case I should have been placed on hormone pills after my hysterectomy, I have been without hormones since June 2001. I am 41 years old and have pain pretty much everywhere. Family dr says that I have rheumatism. Bone density scan tells my dr that I am about a 70 year old woman. How depressing can that be to hear? I suffer from fatique, sore and stiff joints, pinched nerve and osteoporosis, my SI joint is somewhat out of place but it is recommended for me to not see the chiropractor. The chiropractor helped me before when other dr’s had no clue. However, I ask my dr for pain meds when the pain begans to consume my thoughts. I use hot baths with a half bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of epsom salt before bedtime, sometimes I just sit in plain hot water to get get relief, the thermocare heat wraps and pads are absolutely wonderful and sportsrub in the turqoise and black tub is fabulous also. It calms me where I can lay in bed and fall asleep. I can’t get to sleep when I am hurting more than usual. I have pain everyday, been this way for a few years now, having poor insurance doesn’t help. Where can I go to vent my anger towards whatever ailment this is that I have? LOL….but very serious. I know that people suffering like me can help me better than any psychiatrist can. I love all you and stay enclosed in prayer until your Angel comes.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2014 at 11:38 am
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    I have been reading this site with a lot of interest as I have had RA for 15 years (severely), literally woke up one morning with bend fingers, toes & in agony. Methotrexate mucked up my liver so had to come off that after 1 year, tried various other drugs but ended up in wheel chair & couldn’t do anything. My husband had to wash/dress me whilst working as well. I was lucky enough to be on the 1st list for Enbrel & after waiting 3 months for funding I was no. 38 in my trust to get it. I inject myself & within 3 days was out shopping!! It’s not perfect by any means & as the years have gone by I have got worse but I am still mobile which is the most important thing. Anti-tnf doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me. I also use Bio-freeze for when the pain is bad, also heat pads as well. I also take low dose prednisolone (5mg per day). Need paracetemol as and when I need it. Hope this helps & that none of you ever give up. Keep pushing for these drugs they do help.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2015 at 10:07 am
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    I use 4″ firm foam pillows for sitting and 4″ riisers under tables and seating. Also high toilet with 4″ toilevator

    Reply
  • November 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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    I have a question, will having a ceiling fan on high or running at all during night cause increased pain or RA flare ups? Or having a window fan blowing in bedroom (on the floor) in the direction of yr spouse laying next to you in bed? My mornings are getting worse and its the only thing I can think of that is different since my ra is now flaring up. now it’s taking me half the day just to move around, but im also tending to continue being in alot of pain..also more fogginess and heaviness and weakness. Ty hv a blessed day

    Reply
  • March 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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    I use Two Old Goats and other similar creams and lotions massaged on my hands each night. Massage, massage, massage…I get a full body massage 3 times a month and it really does help so much. I take the meds as prescribed and add Aleve twice a day..sometimes double doses. I use heat packs that go into the microwave and ice packs I keep in the freezer….I have dozens of each in every size. I also have a TENS unit that I have used when I have really awful pain…learned about it in PT for hip bursitis…and it does help. I wish that I had access to Marijuana because I know from past experience that it works on pain and inflammation better than most anything else. But I do not live in an MJ state.Ohio claims to have legislated MJ for medical use…but they have not allowed anything to be done with it and it will be many years before they do. I water walk three days a week for an hou and a a half and I exercise with Gilad’s Bodies in Motion on TV three days a week for half an hour. All in all it is a full time job to keep away the pain of RA. And even all this does not do a full job!

    https://www.amazon.com/Two-Old-Goats…/dp/B00795W3DG

    Reply
  • March 25, 2017 at 8:26 pm
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    OK don’t laugh but I settle myself comfortably on the sofa with pillows and blanket and watch Hercule Poirot – Miss Marple or something similar. My son or husband bring me a lovely cup of turmeric ginger tea and I just splodge! Sometimes it’s wine if I choose to avoid pain meds ?

    Reply
  • March 25, 2017 at 8:29 pm
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    Mustn’t forget to mention my little Jack Russell who curls up next to me. She seems to know when im really suffering bless her.

    Reply

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    Thanks for visiting this unique site full of information and encouragement to fight Rheumatoid Disease. You'll find hope, humor, and a helpful online community. I'm Kelly & I'll be glad to show you around if you'll click right here.

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