Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments To Annihilate Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. This causes the synovium – the tissue inside the joints that produces fluid that helps joints move freely – to thicken, resulting in pain and swelling in and around the joints.
In severe cases when rheumatoid arthritis is left unchecked, it can cause cartilage damage and can even damage the bones that make up the joint. Immobility and permanent joint deformity may occur and cannot be reversed. Most commonly affecting joints in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and feet, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. There are, however, a number of treatments that can help you manage your symptoms. If you’re looking for effective rheumatoid arthritis treatments, keep reading!
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Exercise and physical therapy are important components of many rheumatoid arthritis treatment plans. Doctors commonly recommend physical therapy to help RA sufferers develop exercise plans that help strengthen the joints and keep them mobile without causing excessive strain. A physical therapist may also recommend a brace, splint, or corrective footwear.
There are a few kinds of medication for rheumatoid arthritis. These medications fall into two general categories: those that are intended to change the course of the disease’s progression and those that alleviate the condition’s symptoms. In many instances, both are used together to ease pain and inflammation while slowing the progression of the disease. People suffering from RA often take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen to ease pain and swelling. Drugs that modify the disease and its progression include gold injections and methotrexate and sulfasalazine. Researchers are currently testing biologic agents which may target certain chemicals in the body and prevent them from attacking the joints.
Learning to live with the constant pain is one of the most challenging aspects of rheumatoid arthritis for many people. Your doctor may recommend cognitive therapy to help you leave how to better live with your symptoms. The goal of cognitive therapy for pain management is to improve your psychological and emotional well-being to better enable you to cope with your symptoms. Learning how to relax and handle stress could even lead to a decrease in your physical symptoms.
In severe cases, the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may be joint replacement surgery. When RA does not respond to other treatments, surgery is typically effective and restores joint function. There are, however, risks associated with surgical intervention, and it is usually only used as a last resort.
Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. There are a few natural complementary treatments that may provide symptom relief, but it’s important to discuss them with your doctor. Ice packs can be used to reduce inflation, and warm compresses help relax muscles and increase blood flow. Some patients experience decreased pain and improved flexibility as the result of acupuncture. There are also several nutritional supplements that may help. Omega-3 fatty acids have a proven anti-inflammatory effect, and several studies have shown that it may help reduce the morning stiffness commonly associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Borage seed oil may also reduce the symptoms of RA. While incurable, there are several treatments for rheumatoid arthritis that may make the disease a bit easier to live with. The condition typically develops during middle age and can progress quickly when left untreated. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of RA, it’s important to see your doctor right away. To learn more about the many available rheumatoid arthritis treatments, contact your doctor and schedule an appointment today.