Rheumatoid Arthritis Basics (cont.)
When Is Surgery Necessary?
When joint damage from the arthritis has become severe or pain is not controlled with medications, surgery is an option to restore function to a damaged joint.
Why Is Rest and Exercise Important for RA?
A balance of rest and exercise is important in treating rheumatoid arthritis. During flare-ups (worsening of joint inflammation), it is best to rest the joints that are inflamed. This may be accomplished by the temporary use of a cane or joint splints.
When joint inflammation is decreased, guided exercise programs are necessary to maintain flexibility of the joints and to strengthen the muscles that surround the joints. Range-of-motion exercises should be done regularly to maintain joint mobility.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Cured?
Although there is not yet a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early aggressive treatment has been shown to help prevent disability. There are many different methods available for decreasing the pain and inflammation. Research is in progress to determine the cause of rheumatoid arthritis and the best treatment for it.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on February 25, 2011
Last Editorial Review: 2/25/2011