Effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis involves close cooperation going on between you and your doctor, and possibly an occupational and / or physical therapist.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto disease that causes progressive chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. This chronic inflammation damages the joints and surrounding tissue, leading to decreased mobility and potential teratogenicity. The cause is unknown. It is believed to be genetically inherited, and can affect people of all ages. RA can not be cured, but early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve performance.
Symptoms may come and go, but the underlying disease is always present. Whenever it is activated, or flared up, people may experience a number of symptoms including: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, along with muscle and joint pain. The joints can become swollen, red and painful, making simple everyday tasks difficult or almost impossible.
Treatment is individualized. There are several factors to consider before an effective treatment plan can be put into place. The severity of the disease, there are types of joints and tissues involved, age, occupation, and general health just a few examples of what needs to be considered by health professionals.
early and aggressive management and treatment are key ingredients necessary to stop joint damage and improve function and mobility.
Two general categories of drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It is fast acting, often referred to as the first drugs used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, and slow job or second line drugs that promote disease remission and prevent further escalation of joint destruction. These drugs can be used alone or in combination, depending on the severity of RA present.
In addition to drugs, regular physical exercise is necessary. This is effective in reducing stiffness and strengthens the muscles around the joint for improved mobility. Swimming is a great exercise for people with arthritis because it strengthens muscles with minimal stress on the joints. An occupational or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises that will also be very useful.
Overall, early diagnosis, aggressive treatment and management, along with close cooperation with the health care team will give you the best result.