Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), most symptoms can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. If these don't work, or if RA is affecting quality of life, surgery may be an option. The earlier RA is detected and treated, the better it can be controlled.
The goals of treatment for RA include:
Maintaining the greatest possible mobility and function
Decreasing joint deformity
Maintaining or improving quality of life
RA is different in everyone. Working with a healthcare team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals is important to help find the treatments that works best for each person.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Handout on health:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Rheumatic%5FDisease/default.asp. Updated August 2014. Accessed October 31, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis. October 31, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal%5Fand%5Fconnective%5Ftissue%5Fdisorders/joint%5Fdisorders/rheumatoid%5Farthritis%5Fra.html. Updated May 2013. Accessed October 31, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 10, 2014. Accessed October 31, 2014.
Wasserman AM. Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(11):1245-1252.