Diseases > Rheumatoid Arthritis | RA > Treatment of RA
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Treatment of RA
Now is probably the best time in history to get RA. The approach to treatment has changed and the medicines available today are much more effective than in the past.
People with RA can lead active and productive lives with the right kinds of treatment. Whatever treatment approach you choose it is essential to remember two key points: treat RA early and treat it aggressively. Don’t wait. There is great treatment available that can help get you back to leading a full life.
Why is it important to treat RA early?
Research has shown us if you treat RA early you are much more likely to get into remission. Even a few months can make a difference. Here’s an analogy. Imagine you are sitting in your living room enjoying a nice cup of coffee. You look over to the kitchen and see a fire burning on the stove. What do you think you’ll do? One option is to just sit there and wait until the fire gets worse and spreads to the walls or the ceiling. The second option is to grab the phone, dial the fire department, and grab the fire extinguisher.
You can think of RA like a fire in your joints. You want to get that fire put out as quickly as possible so it doesn’t damage your body. Once the damage from RA is done it cannot be reversed. We want to stop RA before it damages your joints.
Why is it important to treat RA aggressively?
Using the same fire analogy, we’ve decided to call in the fire department. Now we need to make sure we have the right tools to put out the fire. We don’t want a bucket and water. We want a fire truck with a big hose. We might even want more than one fire truck. The faster we can get that fire out the better things will be in the long run.
That said, sometimes we call three fire trucks right off the bat. Sometimes rheumatologists use three medications right off the bat. This is called triple therapy. That strategy will be covered under the “Medications for RA” section.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Exercise is important to overall health. The level and amount of exercise you can do depends on the activity of your arthritis. A trained arthritis physiotherapist can help design an exercise program tailored to you and your needs.
Below are some useful articles on exercising with arthritis:
- Exercise and Arthritis: An article by arthritis physiotherapist, Marlene Thompson
- Exercising in a Flare: Another excellent article written by Marlene Thompson on how to cope with flares through your exercise routine.