Available Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, physicians recommend the use of aggressive treatments early in diagnoses in order to reduce the symptoms’ severity. There are various methods used to control the symptoms and stop the damage to the joints including surgery and medications as well as lifestyle changes and daily routine.
It is imperative for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to communicate with his doctor when selecting effective treatments. The doctor will make sure that the patient gets healthy treatments prescribed correctly for his lifestyle or situation.
Goals of a Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
A rheumatoid arthritis treatment is not aimed at curing the disorder; however, some treatments can substantially decrease pain and possible body damage that can be permanent. Depending upon the symptoms’ severity, the goal of a treatment is to gain control of the disease, keeping the activity of rheumatoid arthritis steadily at a low level. Such goal is mainly focused on.
- Minimizing everyday and long-term side effects
- Preventing permanent or further damage
- Decreasing inflammation
- Improving quality of life
Medications to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Physicians prescribe medicines to decrease inflammation and relieve pain in the joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. Usually, the medications used for treating this disease come with serious side effects. That is why doctors often begin to prescribe lower doses that can benefit patients suffering early stage rheumatoid arthritis. People in advanced stages of this disorder need more aggressive treatment in order to minimize the effects like inflammation so doctors prescribe stronger medicines. Below are the medications often prescribed to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- These medications are intended to relieve pain and decrease inflammation. They are over-the-counter drugs which can be prescribed in stronger doses. NSAIDs are also used for treating fevers, headaches and other common ailments. Naproxen and Ibuprofen are basic NSAIDs which will decrease inflammation and pain temporarily. Although weaker NSAIDs come with little risks or side effects, they just manage the pain and symptoms and don’t slow the activity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are available in any pharmacy in Texas including Windies Community RX LLC.
- Corticosteroid medications- They slow the disease’s progression and stop the immune system from attacking healthy body tissue. These medications can be taken as shots or pills. They provide pain relief; however, they come with potential side effects including leg swelling, mood swings, increased blood pressure and weight gain.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)- These medications protect and tissues and joints from permanent damage and minimize everyday pain. They can be taken with other pain relievers or concurrently. Examples of DMARDs include Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine and leflunomide.
People with rheumatoid arthritis must keep an active and healthy lifestyle. Although exercise can be too painful, low-risk exercises such as yoga and walking can decrease inflammation. A physical therapist can help in designing an effective and safe daily workout routine which will keep the flexibility of the joints.
Life with rheumatoid arthritis is not easy and not having the ability to perform some tasks can result in frustration. A physical therapist can help a person with this disease know some ways to approach tasks which include as little stain as possible.
Surgical Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
For rheumatoid arthritis, surgery is a drastic treatment method which is often reserved for patients who have severe joint damage. While no amount of medications can fix deformities or restore damaged caused by rheumatoid arthritis, surgery can restore a person’s abilities he lost due to the disease and repair vital joint parts. Below are surgical procedures that can be performed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Joint fusion. In this procedure, the surgeon fuses and realigns the joints.
- Joint replacement. This procedure involves the elimination of part of the damaged joint and insertion of a prosthetic treatment.
- Tendon repair. Tendons can be damaged due to inflammation. The damaged tendons can be fixed by surgeons to strengthen the joints.