Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints that result in pain and stiffness. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis so it is important to manage symptoms and try to reduce disease activity. Below are different strategies that will help with disease flare ups and slow joint damage from medications to Physical therapy.
Medication that reduces inflammation and slows disease activity:
- Corticosteriods which decrease inflammation
- DMARDs that modify the course of the disease to slow progression
- Biologics work faster than DMARDs targeting specific steps in the inflammatory process; has to be injected
- JAK inhibitors block pathways involved in the body’s immune response
Exercise and Rest: It’s important to have a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Rest more during inflammation and flare ups to decrease stiffness and swelling. Regular exercise is important to prevent increased stiffness and joint immobility. A low impact routine with muscle strengthening and stretching is going to be the best plan for rheumatoid arthritis. A Physical Therapist can make a program specifically made for you and your tolerance.
Before and after exercising, heat or/and cold therapy is beneficial. Ice if there is more pain and swelling, heat if there is more stiffness.
Healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet filled with healthy foods that are high in antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Avoid processed foods and high sugar foods that increase inflammation.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.
If you are experiencing any kind of joint pain or have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022