Reduce Stress to Reduce Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Five ways you can help reduce your stress-related neck and back pain.

Written by Stewart G. Eidelson, MD

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complicated condition, and stress will only exacerbate its often debilitating symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis has no cure and can cause intense, chronic pain. You've likely felt many different emotions since RA became part of your life—confusion, frustration, anger, sadness, and helplessness. And all these feelings can create stress.
Reducing your stress is important—not only to your emotional well being but also your physical health. There are many non-surgical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, such as medications and physical therapy, that address the physical nature of the condition. But stress management is equally important in reducing your pain. In fact, stress can actually affect your perception of pain.

Simply put, stress weakens your body. In a weakened state, you're more vulnerable to RA's symptoms, including painful flare-ups, weakness, and fatigue. If you eliminate certain stressful triggers and make healthy behavioral changes, you'll have a better sense of well being.

Help Reduce Your Stress (and Your Symptoms)

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How Stress Affects Rheumatoid Arthritis