Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune disorder that causes widespread inflammation in the body, primarily in the joints, but it can also affect organs and tissues. There is pain and swelling in the affected area that can sometimes lead to deformity in more serious cases. This incurable disease is often debilitating, so there are a number of treatments available to help people cope with the disease:?
- DMARDs-Most patients who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis use drug treatment to manage the disease to help reduce the inflammation and discomfort. Disease anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs, are used to slow down the effects of joint damage on the bones and cartilage. This type of treatment has been available for several years and can sometimes prevent damage in the early phases of the disease and bring more advanced cases into stages of remission.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs-There are a couple of drugs that are often used to help to reduce the inflammation in the joints, tissues and organs, which come in the form of steroid or non-steroid treatment. Steroids are a strong medication that is very effective in reducing painful inflammation. This type of drug must be carefully taken to reduce the possibility of serious side effects if it is not taken or prescribed. Non-steroid drugs are such things are NSAIDS that are prescribed in appropriate dosages to control the pain and reduce inflammation.
- Biologics-This is a newer form of treatment that is composed of genetically engineered proteins from human genes that targets the parts of the immune system that cause inflammation. The medication is often prescribed when other treatment options have not helped to slow the progression of the disease. The medication is administered in the form of an injection or intravenous infusion, but must be carefully monitored by a specialist because it can cause other serious health conditions.?
- Physical and Occupational Therapy-Some people choose to try exercises to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. An exercise regiment can be used to strengthen weak, painful joints as well as help disabled patients to find ways to manage the painful symptoms. Occupational therapists can work with rheumatoid arthritis patients to give them the tools needed to carry out their everyday activities as best they can.
The different kinds of rheumatoid arthritis treatment give patients a number of options to choose from as they consult with their specialist. Every treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to weight the options as they pertain to each unique case. Although rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed with an effective treatment.