Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints. But in some people, RA also damages the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. In fact, about 40 percent of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms beyond the joints.
Although there is no cure for RA, there is a range of effective medications and therapies that help many you manage your condition.
Medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis
After evaluating the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve had RA, your doctor may recommend one of the following medications:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Nonprescription NSAIDs such as Advil®, Motrin® IB and Aleve® can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.
- Steroids – Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, can reduce inflammation, and help relieve pain and slow joint damage. You may be prescribed a corticosteroid to relieve acute symptoms, with the goal of tapering off the medication.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) –These drugs can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage.
- Biologic agents –Biologic drugs target parts of the immune system that trigger inflammation that cause joint and tissue damage.
Treating rheumatoid arthritis with physical therapy
Physical or occupational therapy helps many RA patients improve joint flexibility. During these sessions, you’ll learn exercises to help keep your joints flexible, and can discover ways to perform daily tasks to ease joint pressure. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, physical therapy is part of our complete offering of sports medicine in Pomona Valley.
Exceptional healthcare has never been more accessible and convenient
If you or a loved one is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or a sports-related injury, the caring team at PVHC is here for you. Comprised of dedicated, experienced doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses, the PVHC pros are ready to address your every medical need. From family medicine and women’s health to sports medicine and urgent care, the support you need is close to home.
Schedule an appointment at a PVHC location near you. For Claremont, Chino Hills or Pomona, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.