Dealing With Knee Arthritis At Home
What Is The Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
While theres no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are many strategies to help manage the condition and its symptoms so you can continue to lead a healthy and active life. Its helpful to understand the nature of your condition and build good relationships with your doctor, rheumatologist and healthcare professionals.
Remedies And Habits To Overcome Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
27 May, 2022
If youve come to this article its probably because youre looking for options to cope with rheumatoid arthritis pain. This chronic disease affects 1% of the world population and those who suffer it are constantly looking for ways to improve their quality of life.
In this article, well give you some effective tips to use in your daily life. With them, you can help naturally relieve rheumatoid arthritis pain.
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Other Immunomodulatory And Cytotoxic Agents
Some additional immunomodulatory drugs are used in RA including azathioprine , and cyclosporin A . Rarely cyclophosphamide and d-Penicillamine are used. Because the potential of high toxicity, these agents are typically utilized for life-threatening extra-articular manifestations of RA such as systemic vasculitis or with severe articular disease that is refractory to other therapy.
Azathioprine has some activity in rheumatoid arthritis but may take 8-12 weeks to see an effect. It is a purine analog that can cause bone marrow suppression and lowering of blood cell counts particularly in patients with renal insufficiency or when used concomitantly with allopurinol or ACE inhibitors. Increased risk of secondary malignancy due to azathioprine is controversial. Screening for levels of the enzyme thiopurine methyltransferase is recommended before initiating therapy with azathioprine. Certain individuals have deficiencies in this enzyme that metabolizes azathioprine with a concomitantly increased risk of toxicitiy for the medication. Side effects include nausea, and alopecia. Blood tests to monitor blood counts and liver function tests are necessary for patients on azathioprine.
What To Do When Faced With Early Signs Of Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that in some cases, it may not be preventable. Medical professionals are not quite sure why RA starts or what can prevent it. However, it is linked with a variety of health conditions that may increase your likelihood of getting the disease. Namely, a large amount of inflammation in the body seems to trigger the immune system to start attacking healthy cells, leading to inflammation and deterioration in the joints.
According to Healthline, there are four risk factors that could increase a persons chance of developing RA.
First, women are more likely to develop RA than men. About 70 percent of all RA cases in the United States are women.
Secondly, many RA patients have specific human leukocyte antigen genes. However, not everyone with these genes develops RA.
Third, smoking has been linked with an increased risk of developing RA. Finally, leading a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight also increases a persons risk.
Therefore, by eliminating these problems, you reduce your risk of getting RA or seeing it progress further. Additionally, improving the immune system may help prevent further development of the disease. If you have early warning signs of arthritis, here is what you can do to slow or reverse the progression of the disease:
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What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination the following factors:
- The environment
Normally, the immune system protects the body from disease. In people who have rheumatoid arthritis, somethingpossibly infections, cigarette smoking, and physical or emotional stress, among other causestriggers the immune system to attack the joints .
Gender, heredity, and genes largely determine a person’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. For example, women are about three times more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Top 5 Ways To Help Alleviate Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
Living with rheumatoid arthritis doesnt have to limit your mobility or keep you from work and social activities. With effective treatment and daily at-home care, you can maintain your quality of life, and its possible your disease could even go into remission.
Over 1.5 million Americans live with rheumatoid arthritis , an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the synovium that lines and protects your joints. While it can lead to painful swelling and stiffness, you can reduce your risk of flare-ups and protect your joints from permanent damage by taking a few key steps.
Here at Houston Pain Specialists in Houston, Texas, Hui Kang, MD leads our team of pain management experts who offer customized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. As with many conditions, prevention is a critical part of pain management. Here is our list of the top five steps you can take to reduce your pain at home:
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What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are many effective methods for decreasing the pain and inflammation and slowing down the disease process. Early diagnosis and effective treatment are very important.
Extensive research is being done to learn the cause of rheumatoid arthritis and the best methods of treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/17/2017.
Measures To Reduce Bone Loss
Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. The use of prednisone further increases the risk of bone loss, especially in postmenopausal women.
You can do the following to help minimize the bone loss associated with steroid therapy:
- Use the lowest possible dose of glucocorticoids for the shortest possible time, when possible, to minimize bone loss.
- Get an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, either in the diet or by taking supplements.
- Use medications that can reduce bone loss, including that which is caused by glucocorticoids.
- Control rheumatoid arthritis itself with appropriate medications prescribed by your doctor.
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Considering Taking Opioids For Your Pain
This animated video below, from NPS MedicineWise and the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists , provides information to people who may be considering taking opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ARTHRITIS OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES.
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Heat And Cold Treatments For Easing Ra Pain
Two of the simplest measures for relieving RA pain are heat and cold treatments.
Heat treatments, such as heating pads, hot tubs, and warm paraffin wax, enhance circulation to sooth stiff joints and tired muscles, making physical activity easier and less painful.
On the other hand, cold treatments, such as ice packs and ice baths, slow circulation and numb nerve endings to reduce acute pain.
Some small studies suggest whole-body cryotherapy , in which the body is temporarily exposed to temperatures lower than minus 200 degrees F , may be beneficial for RA by reducing pain and joint-disease activity.
What’s more, a review published in October 2016 in the Journal of Thermal Biology, which investigated small studies that were not specific to RA patients, found that WBC appears to decrease inflammation and stiffness and improve sleep. But this review was also hampered by the lack of research available and the standardization across studies.
Importantly, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared any WBC devices for the treatment of chronic pain or various conditions, including RA.
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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term for inflammation in joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on both sides of the body , which helps distinguish it from other types of arthritis.
In addition to affecting the joints, rheumatoid arthritis may occasionally affect other parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, nerves, or kidneys.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that patients immune system is overreacting against itself. The result can cause some or all of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Tendon Repairs And Tendon Transfers
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause tendons in the hand to become injured and strained, eventually leading to a torn tendon. In some cases, a torn tendon may be surgically repaired. In other cases, the tendon may be so damaged that it cannot be repaired3 and a tendon transfer may be recommended.
During a tendon transfer surgery, the surgeon will transfer tendon tissue from a larger, healthy joint to the hand. The surgeon will also address any related structural abnormalities to help decrease the likelihood of a future tendon rupture.
The hand tendons most likely to tear include the ulnar-sided extensor tendons, flexor pollicis longus, and the flexor digitorum profundus.
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Significance Of The Study
Rheumatoid arthritis not only affects the joints but can also affect internal organs, thus causing permanent disability in many instances. Currently, there is no cure for this autoimmune disease, rather, symptoms are addressed on an individual basis. Here, we succinctly summarize the classic and current treatment options available for the management of patients suffering from this complex disease.
How Will My Doctor Choose Drugs That Are Right For Me
Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment program. The drugs your doctor prescribes will match the seriousness of your condition.
Your doctor will combine the results of your medical history, physical exam, X-rays and blood tests to create your treatment program. The doctor will also consider your age, sex, physical activity, other medications you are taking and any other medical conditions you may have.
It is important to meet with your doctor regularly so that he or she can closely monitor you for any side effects and change your treatment, if necessary. Your doctor may periodically order blood tests or other tests to determine the effectiveness of your treatment and any side effects.
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Add Cloves To Your Diet
Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory chemical called eugenol that interferes with a bodily process that triggers arthritis. In one animal study, eugenol prevented the release of COX-2, a protein that spurs inflammation . Cloves also contain antioxidants, which are important in slowing the cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis. Aim for ½ to 1 teaspoon a day for joint pain relief.
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Whats The Right Footwear When You Have Ra
Narrow-toed or pointy-toed shoes, as well as heels, are bad for the foot as they cause the wearer to put pressure on the ball of the foot and can cause marked deformities, Lightfoot says. An oxford-type shoe with a low heel, wide toe, and high ceiling that will not rub the foot is best.
Good arch support will help distribute the weight evenly on the entire foot, and orthotics special devices put into the shoe can alleviate foot pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and possibly prevent deformities in the foot, Lightfoot adds.
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Treatments And Strategies To Help Relieve Chronic Ra Pain
Try the following strategies with your doctor’s supervision to discover which are most effective for you.
1. Inflammation medication“In the case of RA, all other pain-relief strategies are secondary to controlling inflammation,” Ali says. That means treating with medications that alter the course of the disease such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs , biologics, or janus kinase inhibitors. “Steroids may be used to bridge the gap during an acute flare,” adds Ali, though theyre typically only used for a short period of time, due to the side effects theyre associated with.
These drugs each work differently to suppress the body’s overactive immune system response and are also used to prevent joint damage and slow the progression of the disease. Theyre often prescribed shortly after an RA diagnosis in order to prevent as much joint damage as possible though it may take up to six months or so to fully feel the drugs benefits. It can also take time to find the right treatment or combination of treatments to help you gain control of your RA.
How To Treat Arthritis Pain Naturally At Home
Learning how to protect and treat your joints is key to natural arthritis care. For example, the right shoes and a cane can help with any worsening pain in the feet, knees, and hips. There is also a market for specially designed gadgets that help seniors open jars and bottles or turn doorknobs with ease. The following lifestyle habits are also key to caring for arthritis:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Controlling weight
There are many natural remedies for arthritic pain. Comfort can even be found by applying heat or cold, soaking in a warm saltwater bath, or swimming in a heated pool. Treatments like acupuncture, massage, or meditation have also proven to alleviate some pain and symptoms related to arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
If youre experiencing joint pain and inflammation, its important that you discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Getting a diagnosis as soon as possible means that treatment can start quickly. Early treatment will help you to control the inflammation, manage pain more effectively and minimise the risk of long-term joint damage and disability.
If youre diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or suspected of having the condition, you may be referred to a medical specialist known as a rheumatologist for further investigations and medical treatment.
Take Herbal Supplements For Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
There are two herbal remedies that stand out for their properties to help ease the inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. These are as follows:
- Indian frankincense : Ayurvedic medicine proposes this plant as an excellent anti-inflammatory remedy that they specifically prescribe for arthritis.
- Ashwagandha : This remedy is also a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that could make it difficult for collagen to deteriorate. It could also reduce stiffness, ease pain, and facilitate joint movement.
When taking supplements, even if theyre natural, we always recommend you do so under medical supervision. This is very important, especially if you take medication, since there could be some kind of interaction.
With these 4 natural remedies, youll notice a significant improvement in your arthritis symptoms. Its never easy to change your lifestyle, but its even more difficult to live with pain every day.
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Nutritional Supplements And Dietary Changes
There’s no strong evidence to suggest that specific dietary changes can improve rheumatoid arthritis, although some people with rheumatoid arthritis feel their symptoms get worse after they have eaten certain foods.
If you think this may be the case for you, it may be useful to try avoiding problematic foods for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
But it’s important to ensure your overall diet is still healthy and balanced. A Mediterranean-style diet, which is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, is recommended.
There’s also little evidence supporting the use of supplements in rheumatoid arthritis, although some can be useful in preventing side effects of medicines you may be taking.
There’s some evidence to suggest that taking fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society : diet and rheumatoid arthritis
Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022
Medical Management Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Medical management usually involves a combination of more than one treatment modality. The treatment options are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : NSAIDs can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Steroids: Corticosteroid medications suppress the immune system, reduce inflammation and pain, and delay joint damage.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs : These drugs are extremely effective in the treatment of RA. They suppress internal swelling and relieve symptoms. They can slow the progression and prevent joint deformities and other complications. Some commonly prescribed DMARDs are Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, and Hydroxychloroquine.
- Biological modifiers: These are a newer generation of DMARDs, and they are usually taken with DMARDs to suppress inflammation. Some examples are Infliximab, Rituximab, etc.
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