Managing high disease activity in early rheumatoid arthritis requires a multifaceted and vigilant approach to achieve success. Achieving improvement — and possibly remission — in rheumatoid arthritis remission in rheumatoid arthritis a multifaceted and vigilant approach. Can Vegan or Vegetarian Diets Help Reduce Arthritis Inflammation?
Dairy: Arthritis Friend or Foe? Exercise: How Much Is Enough? Can Pain Clinics Help People With RA? What Triggers an Arthritis Flare? Looking for a quick definition of a term? Either goal is easier to achieve for some than others. Having high disease activity for sustained periods raises the risks of permanent joint damage and comorbid conditions.
Therefore, disease management requires greater watchfulness and likely more aggressive treatment. A comprehensive evaluation is critical at diagnosis, says M. Musculoskeletal Treatment Center at the Cleveland Clinic. A solid baseline assessment of disease activity gives your doctor a starting point from which to monitor whether your disease is improving, remaining stable or worsening.
Key factors are measured at regular intervals to determine whether the disease is responding well to treatment. Even with high disease activity, your outcome can still be good with proper treatment. The following indicators help guide your treatment plan. Number of swollen and tender joints. RA may progress and need more frequent evaluations.
Evidence of bone erosion on X-rays. If you have these immune system proteins in your blood, you are prone to disease progression, Dr. Difficulty climbing stairs, dressing and performing other activities of daily living at diagnosis could be a sign of increased inflammation or joint erosions. But a poor prognosis suggests that methotrexate alone may not be enough to bring disease activity under control. Your doctor may combine two DMARDs. In some cases, a combination of three DMARDs can be very effective. A TNF inhibitor is usually tried first, but other types of biologics are also available.