The Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Options
There are many diseases that affect thousands of people, but yet the public knows only little about them. By learning more about the common disease that occur in modern people, we can learn how to prevent and treat them.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Before we talk about rheumatoid arthritis treatment, it is better to learn more about the disease itself. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease that primarily affects the joints although it not unusual to affect the internal organs, skin and nervous system too. It belongs to a group known as systemic diseases of the connective tissue.
The inflammation begins in the synovial membrane – the membrane that lines the inside of the joint and provides nutrition of articular cartilage and creation of joint fluid. The final result is the formation of pannus – amplified tissue of the inflammatory synovial membrane which has malignant characteristics.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is not simple. It is similar to many other health conditions and the symptoms develop insidiously. Some medical tests can show the presence of rheumatoid arthritis – rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. In almost 80% of the cases of rheumatoid arthritis, blood tests reveal rheumatoid factor.
It is worth mentioning that rheumatoid arthritis does not occur only in adults. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is present in about 1% of children in the world.
The good news is that if this disease is noticed on time, rheumatoid arthritis treatment will be more effective.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
In most cases, this disease is developing slowly, but progressively. It can be caused by stress or without any apparent reason. In rare cases, the disease starts with acute, sudden attacks which are manifested with chronic inflammation of one or few joints.
After the initial atypical phase, we can notice the first recognizable rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. One of these symptoms is morning stiffness of the joints which are noticed in the hands. Once the joints are activated the sufferer won’t notice any problems until the next morning. As the time goes on, the morning stiffness becomes more difficult and lasts longer.
Soon after the morning stiffness of the joints, sufferers notice pain that is present only temporarily in the beginning or only in some movements of the joints and slowly becomes more frequent.
The musculoskeletal system is affected the most (the joints mostly). One of the most common RA symptoms is the occurrence of swelling around the joints. In the beginning the swelling is not solid and can be pressed. After the small joints, the disease can start spreading to the larger joints, elbows, knees and shoulders. Chronic inflammation of the small joints of the hand results in deformation of hands. In addition to joint pain, changes may occur in other systems and organs.
What is The Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?
There is more than one effective rheumatoid arthritis treatment that patients can use. What is important to understand is that this is a chronic disease that requires long healing. Each rheumatoid arthritis treatment recommended by experts has its own advantages and the main focus is to reduce the inflammation processes in the system and to remove all the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that we have mentioned before. If the rheumatoid arthritis treatment doesn’t provide the desired results after 6 months, doctors usually recommend the use of rheumatoid arthritis medications. Now let’s check some of the most popular and most efficient rheumatoid arthritis treatments.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ayurveda is the oldest complete healthcare system which is used around the globe even today. It is believed that people in India have used it for more than 5 millennia. This is a completely natural approach that promises long-lasting effects without any side effects. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis treatment with the help of ayurvedic medicine, we should mention that this treatment includes several techniques.
First of all, there are internal and external treatments. The internal treatment includes the use of herbal pills, herbal powder, drinks, herbal decoctions etc. There are also external treatments that usually include massages with specific oils (Pinda oil) and special herbal pastes. Of course, just like the other treatments, the disease can be completely cured in the early stages. If the disease has made progress, it is very difficult to heal the body although the patients will notice significant relief.
Herbal Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
As we said before, there are many ways in which we can treat rheumatoid arthritis and keep it under control, but most experts agree that well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy diet can help. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment with the help of herbs has been practiced for centuries and these three herbs have proven to be very effective.
This is a plant that is frequently used as spice. It is rich in eugenol, oil that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Some neuropaths call it – a natural aspirin. Add a couple of basil leaves to the salads and pasta you eat in order to improve the flavor and ease the pain.
Nettle is a very powerful tool used against rheumatoid arthritis. If this disease inflicts severe pain in the joints, all you have to do is to “burn” yourself with nettle leaves. The stingers are actually tiny injections which inject several chemicals and cause specific burning sensation. In addition, nettle leaves are rich with minerals, vitamins and natural analgesics, so you can drink nettle tea too.
People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should start drinking ginger tea. This warm, spicy drink is able to ease the discomfort. Pour one teaspoon of ginger into an empty bowl and cover it with a cup (250ml) of boiling water. Wait for few minutes and drink it. Take small sips. You can also add ginger to your meals.
Gold Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the early 20th century, gold was frequently used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. With the emergence of methotrexate, this treatment became less popular. This treatment can be performed orally or with injections. The usual way is to inject the substance in the muscle once a week in a period of five months. The gold acts slowly, but helps the prevention of joint inflammation.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Hands
Hands are the most affected body part in cases of this disease, so it is not surprise that people are looking for specific rheumatoid arthritis treatment for the hands. Experts recommend the use of laser therapy, massage therapy, warm compresses, hand exercises and paraffin baths.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications List
There are many different medications used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment and they are usually listed in separate categories. The best medications for rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Non-opioid medications – tramadol and acetaminophen.
- Analgesics or painkillers.
- Products that are combination of opioids and analgesics – Acetaminophen with oxycodone, ibuprofen with hydrocodone etc.
- Opioid antagonists and agonists – pentazocine, nalbuphine etc.
- Opioids – methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl etc.
- JAK inhibitors
- Biologic agents – rituximab, anakinra, abatacept etc.
- Anti-inflammatory medications – ketoprofen, diclofenac, aspirin etc.
- DMARDs (Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) – gold sodium thiomalate, azathioprine, penicillamine etc.
- Corticosteroids – hydrocortisone, prednisolone, betamethasone etc.