Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), most symptoms can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medicines. 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:
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.
RA treatment involves the following:
Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/joint-disorders/rheumatoid-arthritis-ra. Updated August 2015. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Updated February 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115261/Rheumatoid-arthritis-RA. Updated September 30, 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Wasserman AM. Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(11):1245-1252.
Last reviewed November 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 5/16/2019