What can I do to help myself when I have palindromic rheumatism?
During an attack
The following tips can help you during an attack:
- When the pain is severe, you should rest your joints. Wrist splints and insoles for your shoes may be helpful.
- You may need to increase your medication with advice from your doctor or rheumatology nurse specialist.
- Ice or heat pads can also help ease pain and swelling, although you should take care to not apply them directly to your skin. Relaxation exercises and swimming or bathing in warm water can also help.
- Pacing your activities will help conserve energy and reduce fatigue.
- Once severe inflammation has settled down, you should get moving again.
Exercise is important to keep your joints working properly but you may feel too tired during attacks. You’ll need to find out for yourself the right balance between rest and exercise. Your doctor or physiotherapist will be able to give you advice on suitable forms of exercise such as stretching exercises and hydrotherapy.
No specific diet has been found to affect palindromic rheumatism, but being overweight will put extra strain on your joints. Keeping an eye on your weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are recommended for your general health.
There's little evidence about complementary medicine in palindromic rheumatism. Some people find that fish oils reduce their need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because they have a mildly anti-inflammatory effect.
If you want to try complementary medicines or therapies, it's important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured. You should also discuss the issue with your doctor or specialist nurse in case any of the complementary medicines might interact with the medications they're giving you.