The early signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis mimic those of many other diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages. One blood test or physical finding cannot be used to confirm the diagnosis. This article will show the treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain, inflammation, and damage to other parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs. It is the most common type of arthritis .
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are most effective when the disease is detected early, which is why learning the symptoms is so important.
For more information on rheumatoid arthritis, including its causes and symptoms and home remedies, diets, and other treatment options, continue reading this article.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Hands
At the end of the day, hand arthritis can manifest itself as a mild burning sensation in the hand. You may eventually experience pain that is not directly related to the use of your hands. This pain may become quite severe if left untreated .
Additionally, you may feel:
Your hands may look a little different if the cartilage in your joints starts to wear away. If the cartilage in your hands, fingers and large joints all breaks down. You might also feel a grinding sensation in your hands, fingers, or large joints .
Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop exercises that will help you regain movement and function if you have rheumatoid arthritis in your fingers or hands.
Exercising can help reduce inflammation and slow down the progress of a disease when used with other types of treatment.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Although there is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, effective treatments can help you manage the disease and avoid further damage .
To find the most effective ways to treat symptoms and slow the progression of the disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and physicians may need to adjust their approaches over time.
In recent years, advancements in treatment strategies have resulted in a steady improvement in people’s outcomes and quality of life who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Treat to Target is a treatment philosophy that rheumatologists use to manage this disease as effectively and efficiently as possible .
Rheumatoid arthritis patients who have undergone treatment according to a target-based approach have reported fewer symptoms and a higher remission rate. The therapeutic strategy consists of the following steps.
- Creating a specific testing objective that indicates remission or a low disease state is essential
- Performing acute phase reactant testing as well as monthly monitoring to evaluate the progress of the treatment and management plan
- If there is no improvement, changing medication regimens as soon as possible is recommended.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are designed to relieve pain while also controlling the inflammatory response. This frequently results in remission of the symptoms. Reduced inflammation may aid in the prevention of further joint and organ injury.
Treatments may include the following :
- Specific types of exercise
- Dietary changes
- Alternative or home remedies
You and your healthcare provider will devise the most effective treatment plan for your specific medical requirements as a team.
Many people can maintain an active lifestyle due to these treatments, and their risk of developing long-term complications is reduced.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications
Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with a variety of available medications. It is characterized by severe pain and inflammation. Several medications can help to relieve this pain and inflammation. Others aid in the prevention of flares and the limitation of joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis flares are associated with pain and inflammation, which can be alleviated with the use of the following over-the-counter medications :
- Acetaminophen (relieves pain but does not alleviate inflammation)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
To reduce the amount of damage that rheumatoid arthritis can cause to your body, you should take the following medications :
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- DMARDs work by interfering with the immune system’s ability to respond. Rheumatoid arthritis is slowed down as a result of this treatment method.
- Rather than inhibiting the entire immune system response, these biologic anti-inflammatory drugs (biologic DMARDs) of the next generation target specific inflammation in the body.
- When used in conjunction with more traditional DMARDs, they effectively treat patients who do not respond adequately.
- Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors
- These medications work by inhibiting specific immune responses, a relatively new subclass of DMARDs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe JAK inhibitors to you if DMARDs and biologic DMARDs do not relieve your symptoms.
- JAK inhibitors can help prevent inflammation and repair joint damage.
Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, certain home remedies and lifestyle changes may be able to help you improve your overall quality of life. Physical activity, rest, and the use of assistive devices are all examples of what is required .
Apply Heat or Cold
To relieve pain and inflammation, cold packs or cold compresses can be used. Furthermore, they may be useful in the treatment of muscle spasms.
Cold and hot therapies should be alternated, such as warm showers and hot compresses. This may help to reduce the stiffness of the joints.
Get Enough Rest
Rest may be required more frequently during flare-ups and less frequently during periods of remission, depending on the individual. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce inflammation, pain, and fatigue in the body.
Low-impact exercises can assist you in increasing the range of motion and mobility of your joints. Exercise can also help strengthen muscles, which can alleviate some of the pressure on your joints due to your activities.
Additionally, you might want to consider trying gentle yoga, which can help you regain strength and flexibility after a period of illness.
Try Assistive Devices
Various devices, such as splints and braces, can be used to keep your joints from moving around. The use of these devices may aid in reducing inflammation, but it is critical to take breaks from using them to avoid “frozen joints” (contractors).
Mobility aids such as canes and crutches can maintain mobility even during flare-ups. In addition, you can install common household devices in bathrooms and stairwells, such as grab bars and handrails, to make them more accessible.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet
Your healthcare provider or dietitian may advise you to follow an anti-inflammatory diet to alleviate the symptoms you are experiencing. This diet plan places a strong emphasis on foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
The following are examples of foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Fatty fish like mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon
Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, as well as selenium, may also be beneficial in the reduction of inflammation. The following are examples of foods that are high in antioxidants:
- Kidney beans
- Dark chocolate
- Berries, such as strawberries, goji berries, cranberries, and blueberries
It is also critical to consume an adequate amount of fiber. Consider whole grains, seasonal vegetables, and seasonal fruit when making your selections! Strawberry consumption may be particularly beneficial.
Flavonoid-rich foods can also assist the body in its fight against inflammation. Some of them are as follows :
- Green tea
- Soy products, such as miso and tofu
What you do not consume is just as important as what you consume when it comes to your health. At all costs, stay away from trigger foods. Saturated and trans fats are included in this category, and refined carbohydrates and sugar.
When following an anti-inflammatory diet, avoiding trigger foods and selecting the appropriate foods can help you manage your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms more effectively.
What is the Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?
Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis (OA), like those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), may experience painful and stiff joints that make movement difficult.
OA patients may experience swelling in their joints after engaging in strenuous activity. Still, the disease does not trigger a significant enough inflammatory response to result in redness in the affected joints in most cases .
In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune disease. Depending on the cause, it can be caused by normal joint wear and tear as you age, or it can develop due to an accident.
Occupants over the age of 65 are the most frequently diagnosed with OA. Tennis players and other athletes who overuse a specific joint, as well as those who have sustained a severe injury, are at greater risk of developing this condition in their twenties and thirties .
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. Normal wear and tear on the joints do not cause the joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of your body attacking itself, it manifests as an infection.
The Bottomline: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Although symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may subside for extended periods, joint problems caused by the disease typically worsen over time. That is why getting treatment as soon as possible is critical to avoiding severe joint damage.
If you are experiencing any symptoms or have any concerns about rheumatoid arthritis, you should speak with your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. (2022). Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) | Arthritis | CDC. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/rheumatoid-arthritis.html#:%7E:text=Rheumatoid%20arthritis%2C%20or%20RA%2C%20is,usually%20many%20joints%20at%20once.
- National Health Service UK. (2022b, June 28). Rheumatoid arthritis. Nhs.Uk. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/
- Solomon, D. H., Bitton, A., Katz, J. N., Radner, H., Brown, E. M., & Fraenkel, L. (2014). Review: treat to target in rheumatoid arthritis: fact, fiction, or hypothesis?. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.), 66(4), 775–782. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.38323
- Ginwala, R., Bhavsar, R., Chigbu, D. I., Jain, P., & Khan, Z. K. (2019). Potential Role of Flavonoids in Treating Chronic Inflammatory Diseases with a Special Focus on the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Apigenin. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2), 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8020035
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2022). Osteoarthritis (OA) | Arthritis | CDC. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm#:%7E:text=Osteoarthritis%20(OA)%20is%20the%20most,underlying%20bone%20begins%20to%20change.