All posts filed under: An RA toolbox

Life changes with RA and it keeps on changing. Developing strategies to make life work better.

RA Tool Hand Exercises

Another asset in our RA tool box is hand exercises. We need to maintain our flexibility and our strength. Deciding that I needed to be able to do more for myself, I asked my Doc to send me to the Albuquerque Health Plex Physical Therapy Hand Clinic. Wow!  is all I can say. My hands were thrilled with the weekly professional paraffin wax treatment. I learned a set of exercises that will help me maintain my hand function. I do them daily. They can be done anywhere.  Below are instructions for a few. I was fitted for hand orthotics custom made for me. I have them for night use when I am in a flare. My hands are protected while I sleep. I asked and I received. I am also fortunate to have a physical therapy department that is expert in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Finger Walking Place fingers and wrist on the table palm down. Hold thumb in hitchhiking position. Walk each finger one at a time toward thumb. Return to original position …

Massage and RA

Garrett is amazing.  He is tall and lanky. Arty. Welcoming. He is a student at the ABQ School of Massage and he gave me a massage at their free cancer clinic. I remember my first experience. Coming out of the massage room, I felt renewed. Massage therapy started as a new adventure for me.  My RA needed help.  So did I.    Massage therapy seemed like a good thing to try. I made the appointment. After the first massage,  I received an email from Garrett asking if I would be the subject of his case study on Rheumatoid Arthritis. I would receive six free massages. He would ask me questions about my RA.  Of course, I said yes.  I needed another tool in my RA toolbox. I am a lucky woman.  My adventure continues. Today was my 5th massage. I follow the routine of each massage. I check off my choices on Garrett’s  before pain scale sheet. Next I undress in the massage room and slide under the sheet and blanket.  Lights are low.  A quiet space.  …

Keeping RA Feet happy

My RA feet are much happier today.  They had not been happy for several years.  RA had started in my feet and included my ankles.  Pain and unstable gait were serious problems. I was sent to a podiatrist. He ordered weight bearing x-rays of my feet which showed deteriorating joints. He sent me for the following inserts that are available at New Balance stores. About $50 a pair. ProThotics, Motion Control performance insoles Support and stability for overall foot health and comfort Anti-friction fabric, breathable, anti-microbial Vy-Gel shock absorption across the forefoot and heel strike to protect against fasciitis Strong arch and metatarsal features help to relieve pain and guard against harmful over- pronation Structural stabilizer promotes maximum stability and helps correct postural alignment Polyurethane base layer provides cushioning that will never flatten out over time Bio-mechanical design helps prevent pronation and rolling ankles on uneven terrain. They live up to their promise. I have two pairs. Yes, they are expensive but have made an incredible difference for me. My podiatrist also sent me for …