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Rheumatoid ArthritisRA Treatment

Let's Talk About Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

RA may be a lifelong illness, but with early diagnosis and treatment, it doesn't have to be your life.

    Our Pro PanelRheumatoid Arthritis

    We went to some of the nation’s top RA experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    Nilanjana Bose, M.D.

    Nilanjana Bose, M.D.Rheumatologist

    Rheumatology Center of Houston
    Houston, TX
    Iris Navarro-Millan, M.D.

    Iris Navarro-Millan, M.D.Rheumatologist and an NIH-funded RA clinical researcher

    Hospital for Special Surgery
    New York, NY
    Janelle Laughlin, M.D.

    Janelle Laughlin, M.D.Rheumatologist

    University of Colorado Health Longmont Clinic
    Longmont, CO

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    When your body's in pain, how do you move forward? Find expert advice and use the collective wisdom of fellow RA patients and caregivers to live with greater ease at home, work, and beyond.

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    Frequently Asked QuestionsRheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

    What is a rheumatologist?

    A doctor who’s specially trained in diagnosing and treating RA and other “rheumatic diseases” (musculoskeletal diseases and systemic autoimmune disorders). To see one, you typically need a referral, either from your primary care doc or another physician. For those dealing with RA, having a rheumatologist is a must.

    How is juvenile arthritis treated?

    Children diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common kind of arthritis in children, may be prescribed the same types of medications as adults are for RA, though some biologics are not recommended for use in children. The best treatment approach includes a multidisciplinary health-care team, consisting of parents, teachers, a pediatric rheumatologist, an ophthalmologist, and physical and occupational therapists.

    Do I have to exercise a lot to get the benefits?

    Not at all. Many people think exercise must be frequent and intense to be effective. But really, any amount of exercise is better than none—and if you’re a beginner at exercise, you should start slow, with one or two workouts a week, and consider working with a physical therapist, too.

    Can I treat my RA with lifestyle changes alone?

    So far, sustained remission does not seem possible without pharmacological intervention. Exercise and healthy eating may help you feel better, but medication is needed to manage the disease.

    Jerilyn Covert

    Jerilyn Covert

    Jerilyn Covert is a writer, editor, and copy editor with 15 years of publishing experience.