Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The aim of the treatment is to relieve pain, minimize the inflammatory process, preserve joint movement and correct any deformities present. RA usually requires lifelong treatment with medications, physical therapy, exercise, education and surgery.


  • Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) are prescribed in addition to rest, exercises and anti-inflammatory drugs. Methotrexate is the most commonly used DMARD for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen are used for pain relief.
  • Antimalarial medication like hydroxychloroquine is usually used along with methotrexate.
  • Corticosteroids- These medications reduce joint swelling and inflammation.


Occasionally surgery is needed for reconstruction of the damaged joints. The following surgical procedures are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Synovectomy- This type of surgical procedure is done to remove the inflamed joint lining (synovium) and to slow down the progression of the disease to other joints.
  • Osteotomy- This is a surgical procedure of removing or cutting a part of affected bone.
  • Arthrodesis- This is a surgical way of fusing the joints. This is performed to relive pain in the joint and to promote painless fusion.
  • Arthroplasty- This is a construction of a new movable joint to preserve movements of affected joints.

Physical Therapy

  • Exercise prescribed by a physical therapist can delay the loss of joint function and help keep muscles strong. However, it is recommended to avoid jogging and running on hard surfaces.
  • Splints - Splints are used for support, rest, to prevent deformity and to relax the muscles.
  • Heat and cold treatments - Crushed ice wrapped in towel is placed over the joints to relieve pain and to drain swelling. Wax may be applied to relieve pain and stiffness of the joints. Sometimes therapists make use of special machines to apply deep heat or electrical stimulation to reduce pain and improve joint movement.
  • Hydrotherapy involves performing exercise under water. The warmth of water relives pain.
  • Nutrition And Diet - A balanced nutritious diet is essential for patients affected with rheumatoid arthritis. It may be helpful to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Rest - It is recommended to take frequent rest between activities. 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night is essential.


tigersue51 Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hi what is the generic pill for methotrexate?

kiel888 Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I have RA,and the causes are the food I eat,when I work so hard and tired and then accidentally. i washed my hands with cold water.

Don't eat all kinds of beans, peanuts, vegetables with high uric acid like cabbage and fish with so much meats...

raksha22 Saturday, July 6, 2013

my name is raksha thaker I suffering from Rhematoid Artritis since ten years guide me

Diwata Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm 39 yrs. old now, but I started feeling pain in my joints [knees and ankles] when I was very young. As I grow older, the swelling includes my fingers and wrest. When I was in college, my joints in ankles, knees, wrest and finger were inflamed. I can't even walk and use the toilet by myself. My parents could not send me to a doctor because medication is not included in the budget and is very expensive. When I start working, its my neck that is inflamed. Finally I had the chance to see a doctor. It was seen in my x-ray that I had spurs in my cervical spine 3,4 and 5, that's why my hands sometimes are weak and numb. 4 yrs ago, my doctor asked me to undergo MRI, but until now I did not do it because it cost a lot. thanks to this website, I learn more about my condition.

imranphysio99 Thursday, April 25, 2013

why did u nt gone to rhematic department of kolkata medical college,one of the best hospital for rheumatism disease. imran

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