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Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: 3 Things You Need to Know

Dec 27, 2017

hands of older person indicating arthritis

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: 3 things you need to know

Rheumatoid arthritis is painful and potentially debilitating. Being diagnosed with RA can leave you feeling overwhelmed and worried, but learning more about your condition and treatment options can do a world of good. As a matter of fact; the Arthritis Society has reported that patients who gain a better understanding of their treatment often report less pain.

A Combination of Treatments Will Be Needed

There are many treatments available for RA and most people will get the most benefit from a combination of these treatments.  These may include:

Medicine

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either over-the-counter or prescription, are used to relieve pain and inflammation. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or a newer class of drugs called biologic agents may also be prescribed to help slow the progression of RA and help to prevent permanent damage to your joints and other tissues. Steroids may also be prescribed for short periods to relieve pain and inflammation.

 

Physical and occupational therapy

A physical therapist can teach you exercises that can help you maintain flexibility in your joints and improve your mobility. Occupational therapists can help you adjust your surroundings and choose assistive devices to help you go about your daily activities with minimal stress to your joints.

 

Surgery

When the damage to a joint is severe, surgery may be necessary. This can include surgery to repair tendons, fuse joints, or a complete joint replacement. Most of these surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive techniques that are performed via tiny incisions without the long recovery of traditional open surgery.

There Are Things That You Can Do To Help Yourself

Along with the RA treatment plan your doctor gives you, there are things that you can do at home to help manage your symptoms and lessen the damage done to your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of them. Excess weight places added stress on your joints which can cause further damage and pain. Other things that you can do to help with RA treatment include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Apply heat and cold

Exercise Is Crucial Even if it’s the Last Thing You Feel like Doing

Exercise is an important part of your RA treatment. Strengthening the muscles around your joints takes stress off of the joints. Moving also helps you maintain flexibility in the joints and improve your mobility. Also, regular exercise lowers stress levels, improves sleep, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. All of these things can lessen pain and inflammation and keep you healthier overall.

Speak to your doctor about all of your treatment options and learn as much as you can about the benefits and possible side effects. If surgery is recommended, find out if you’re a candidate for minimally-invasive surgery which can dramatically shorten your recovery time.

 

While rheumatoid arthritis may not be curable, but with a good treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and even have a remission of symptoms. At BPC, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best treatment options available. Our board-certified orthopedists are well-versed in the issues that surround rheumatoid arthritis and its treatments. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 1-844-201-1308  to learn more about how we can help you live with RA and thrive.

 

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