Arthritis Home > Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

A variety of approaches are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, including medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes. With this disease, treatment is a team effort, involving several types of healthcare professionals. However, the individual patient also plays an important role in his or her own treatment. Patients who are well-informed and participate actively in their own care have less pain and make fewer visits to the doctor than do other people with the disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: An Overview

Healthcare providers use a variety of approaches when treating rheumatoid arthritis. These approaches are used in different combinations and at different times during the course of the disease, and are chosen according to the person's individual situation. No matter what types of treatment the healthcare provider and patient choose, however, the goals are the same:
 
  • Relieving pain
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Slowing down or stopping joint damage
  • Improving a person's sense of well-being and ability to function.
      
Current treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis include:
 
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Routine monitoring and ongoing care.
 
Keep in mind that good communication between the patient and healthcare providers is necessary for effective rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Talking to the healthcare providers can help ensure that exercise and pain management programs are provided as needed and that drugs are prescribed appropriately. Ultimately, however, successful treatment begins with you. Studies have shown that patients who are well-informed and participate actively in their own care have less pain and make fewer visits to the doctor than do other patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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