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West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
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Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), most symptoms can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. 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:

  • Pain relief
  • Maintaining the greatest possible mobility and function
  • Decreasing joint deformity
  • Maintaining or improving quality of life

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:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgeryAlternative and complementary therapiesOther treatments

Revision Information

  • 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%5FInfo/Rheumatic%5FDisease/default.asp. Updated February 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). EBSCO DynaMed Plus 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.