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5 Habits That Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Worse

For the millions of people living with the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can cause chronic pain and joint deterioration, effectively managing symptoms is an important part of maintaining a healthy quality of life. As with any medical condition, rheumatoid arthritis can affect everyone differently. Working with a Beverly Hills rheumatologist to find an individualized arthritis treatment plan that is most appropriate for each patient’s circumstances is the best method to find what is the most effective, be it medication, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, or a combination of treatments.

In addition to professional medical care, there are a number of practical steps that every rheumatoid arthritis sufferer can take to help keep pain at bay and to stay healthy and active even after a diagnosis.

Practical Steps You Can Take to Overcome RA

Keep Stress in Check

It might be a cliche, but learning not to sweat the small stuff is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis, as stress has been shown to contribute to flare-ups, and can generally make RA symptoms worse. Learning to relax and maintain a balanced perspective is the key to keeping stress in check. Practicing proven stress management techniques like meditation and yoga can also have positive physical benefits for stiff and painful joints.

Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle

The dangers of spending too much time sitting have recently been brought to light by numerous studies that show a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risks for developing everything from diabetes to certain types of cancer. For patients already afflicted with joint pain and damage from RA, sitting for prolonged periods can also make pain and stiffness that much worse. It is important for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to stay active with physical activities that are safe, appropriate, and fun. Read more about rheumatoid arthritis treatment at


Like too much sitting, excess weight can contribute to many serious health risks and conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. It can also add excessive pressure on the joints, making pain and stiffness worse.

Alcohol Overconsumption

Excessive alcohol use can lead to several complications for rheumatoid arthritis patients, especially those taking medication to manage their symptoms. Processing medication and alcohol can strain the liver. Alcohol can also contribute to lower bone density, making the bones even more susceptible to fractures and breaks for arthritis patients.


There is never a bad time to quit smoking for good. From interfering with the effects of medication to increasing the likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis in the first place, tobacco should be avoided at all costs for joint and overall health.

Contact a Rheumatologist in Beverly Hills

To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis treatment and managing pain, or to obtain a second opinion on an earlier diagnosis, contact board-certified rheumatologist and internal medicine specialist Dr. Susan Baker at (310) 274–7770 to schedule a consultation today.

Next, read why you should get a second opinion on your rheumatological conditions

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