Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) does not have a medicine that will completely cure the patient. But doctors recommend that patients use aggressive treatment at an early stage of diagnosis to reduce the severity of symptoms. There are various treatments used to control symptoms and stop joint damage, including medication, surgery, daily life, and lifestyle changes. Contact with a doctor or rheumatologist is necessary when choosing effective methods of treatment. They will provide the correct treatment and medications prescribed correctly for the patient’s situation or lifestyle. In this article, we will consider the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis disease
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease
Treating RA will not cure the disease, but some treatments can significantly reduce pain and potential permanent damage to the body. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the purpose of the treatment, it will be to get “tight control” of the RA, which means that the activity of the disease is constantly kept at a low level. Keeping the RA in “tight control” can prevent long-term damage to the joints.
These goals are primarily focused on:
- Reduction of inflammation.
- Prevention of further or permanent damage.
- Improving the quality of life.
- Reduced daily and long-term side effects.
After a strict treatment regimen, RA can lead to remission, which means that there are no signs of the disease in the body. Remission is never a sign that symptoms will not return, but many patients can go for long periods without symptoms.
There are many ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and the doctor or rheumatologist is the only one who can help determine which methods are best suited to the individual needs of the patient.
Medicines for the treatment of RA
Doctors prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and to relieve joint pain caused by RA. Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis often have serious side effects, so doctors usually start with lower doses. This is most beneficial for patients with RA who are in the early stages of the disease because the symptoms are still mild.
Those who are at advanced stages of RA need more aggressive treatment to reduce inflammation and other effects, so stronger drugs are given. Unfortunately, these drugs often have more dangerous side effects.
Here are the various medications commonly prescribed for patients with rheumatoid arthritis:
NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are medicines designed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Many people are already familiar with NSAIDs because they are used to treat headaches, fever, and other common diseases at home. Ibuprofen and naproxen are the two main NSAIDs that temporarily reduce pain and inflammation. Weaker NSAIDs have minor side effects or risks, but they also only control symptoms and pain – they will not help slow down the activity of the disease.
Stronger NSAIDs can provide greater pain relief while reducing inflammation throughout the body. Higher-dose NSAIDs have serious side effects, including:
- Liver damage.
- Heart problems.
- Stomach upset.
- Damage to the kidneys.
There are special NSAIDs that are safer for people with stomach problems. NSAIDs can be taken orally or applied directly to the joint in the form of a patch or cream. Corticosteroids for rheumatoid arthritis .
Corticosteroids in your body act like hormones because they try to slow down the progression of the disease and stop the immune system from attacking healthy tissue. They can be taken in the form of tablets, liquids or drops and contain methylprednisolone, prednisone, and prednisone. Corticosteroids offer pain relief, but they come with possible side effects that are less than ideal.
Possible side effects include:
- Swelling of the legs.
- Weight gain.
- High blood pressure.
- Mood swings.
Studies have shown that the use of corticosteroids for extended periods of time can lead to more serious and persistent side effects. These include:
- High blood sugar or even diabetes.
- Increased risk of infection.
- Calcium deficiency leading to weak bones.
- Light bruises on the skin.
For this reason, doctors usually only prescribe corticosteroids for a short period of time to reduce symptoms, and then put patients on less dangerous regimes or over-the-counter drugs.
Basic antirheumatic drugs that modify the disease are long-term medications that slow down or change the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, stopping the immune system from attacking healthy tissue. These drugs protect joints and tissues from permanent damage and gradually reduce daily pain. BPD can be taken simultaneously or with other painkillers.
Examples of traditional DMARDs are:
Side effects are different for each patient and medication, but the most serious are liver damage and susceptibility to infections.
There is a subset of DMARDs called biological response modifiers. These drugs target specific parts of the immune system that cause inflammation. TNF inhibitors target and block or activate T cells, which play a role in causing inflammation in the joints. By blocking certain steps in this process, these drugs prevent the complete destruction of the entire immune response and vulnerability immediately. This greatly reduces the risk of infection. Biological agents are usually prescribed along with other drugs to effectively combat the symptoms of RA in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis disease.
Common biological agents are:
JAK inhibitors are another type of DMARDs that works against pathways that increase the body’s immune response, known as Janus kinase. JAK inhibitors are useful because they can be taken orally, unlike biologicals, and they work well with traditional DMARDs. JAK inhibitors can significantly reduce inflammation.
Maintaining an active healthy lifestyle is just as important in treating symptoms of RA as the right combination of drugs. Exercise may seem too painful, but low-risk exercises, such as walking and yoga, can actually reduce inflammation. A physical therapist can help you develop a safe and effective daily workout that will maintain joint flexibility.
Life with RA is complicated, and physical inability to perform certain tasks can lead to disappointment. Physiotherapists can help patients find homemade herbal remedies and new ways to approach tasks that are connected with as little stress as possible.
Often, medications alone cannot relieve all pain associated with RA. Some people use chiropractic to treat symptoms of RA. Although some are wary of treating rheumatoid arthritis with chiropractic, especially because of spinal manipulations that can worsen pain in RA, it has been found to be an effective treatment, with some people confirming the improvement.
Care should be taken not to receive chiropractic treatment when there is active swelling in the joints since many chiropractors focus on joint manipulation. If they are already inflamed, additional manipulations in this area can worsen the condition.
Surgery is a radical therapy for RA and is usually intended for people with severe joint damage. No amount of medication can repair damage or repair deformities caused by RA, but surgery can restore lost RA capabilities and restore important parts of the joints.
There are three surgical procedures that RA patients usually receive:
- Joint replacement – surgeons remove part of the damaged joint and insert a prosthetic replacement.
- Joint fusion – when replacement is not possible, surgeons can drain and rebuild joints.
- Tendon repair – over time, inflammation can damage tendons. Surgeons can repair these damaged tendons, which will strengthen your joints.