There are a variety of treatment in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis used to control symptoms and stop joint damage, including medications, surgery, and daily routine and lifestyle changes. Communication with a doctor or rheumatologist is necessary in choosing effective treatments.
They will ensure that treatments are healthy and medications prescribed correctly for a patient’s situation or lifestyle. Treating RA will not cure the disease, but certain treatments can significantly reduce the pain and potential permanent damage to the body. RA, meaning the disease’s activity is kept steadily at a low level. Following a strict treatment regimen could bring RA into remission, meaning there are no signs of the disease in the body. Remission is never an indication that symptoms will not return, but many patients can go long stretches of time without symptoms. There are many ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis and a doctor or rheumatologist are the only ones who can help determine which methods are the best for a patient’s individual needs.
Doctors prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and to relieve joint pain caused by RA. The medications used to treat RA often come with serious side effects, so doctors typically start by prescribing lower doses. This is most beneficial to RA patients who are in the early stages of the disease, because symptoms are still subtle. Those in progressed stages of RA need more aggressive treatment to reduce inflammation and other effects, so stronger medications are given.
Unfortunately, these drugs often come with more dangerous side effects. They can be bought over-the-counter or stronger doses can be prescribed. Many people are already familiar with NSAIDs because they are used to treat headaches, fevers and other common ailments safely at home. NSAIDs that will reduce pain and inflammation temporarily. Weaker NSAIDs come with little side effects or risks but they also only manage symptoms and pain — they will not help with slowing disease activity. Stronger NSAIDs are available with a prescription and can provide increased pain relief while reducing inflammation throughout the body. There are special prescription NSAIDs that are safer for people prone to stomach problems.
NSAIDs can be taken orally or applied directly to the joint as a patch or cream. They can be taken as pills, liquids or shots and contain Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone and Prednisone. Corticosteroids offer pain relief but they come with possible side effects that are less than ideal. Studies have shown that using corticosteroids over long periods of time can result in more serious and permanent side effects. For this reason, doctors usually only prescribe corticosteroid medications for a short amount of time to reduce symptoms, and then place patients on less dangerous regimens or over-the-counter drugs. These drugs protect joints and tissues from permanent damage and gradually reduce daily pain. DMARDs can be taken concurrently or with other pain relievers.