How do you treat inflammatory arthritis?


Quick Answer

Treatment for inflammatory arthritis, also called rheumatoid arthritis, involves taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids, reports Healthline. Doctors sometimes recommend taking methotrexate once per week. Physical therapy may also help alleviate symptoms. It's important to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight to ease the pressure on joints and strengthen the muscles surrounding them. Canes and other assistive devices help arthritis sufferers perform common tasks on their own.

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Full Answer

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may control pain and inflammation, while corticosteroids may relieve inflammatory arthritis symptoms and delay joint damage, according to Mayo Clinic. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are capable of delaying the progress of the disease while preventing permanent joint and tissue damage. Biologic agents also prevent joint and tissue damage by focusing on the immune system's parts that are responsible for triggering inflammation.

Physical therapy helps maintain joint flexibility and allows a rheumatoid arthritis patient to learn efficient ways to accomplish day-to-day activities without hurting the joints, explains Mayo Clinic. Examples of assistive devices that reduce the burden on affected joints include buttonhooks and kitchen knives with saw handles for finger and wrist joint protection.

Total joint replacement, tendon repair and joint fusion are surgical options when medications do not deliver good results, notes Mayo Clinic. Through surgery, it's possible for a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer to use affected joints normally again and experience less pain and deformities.

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