• The goal: Pain management and prevention of further joint damage
  • Physical: Weight loss, exercise/physical therapy, alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and spa soaking
  • Drug therapy: Topical, oral and injectable, Rx treatments often include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which decrease swelling and pain, steroids, or narcotics (opioids)
  • Surgery: Arthroscopic surgery to replace damaged or painful joints
  • Supplements: Calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are frequently marketed for osteoarthritis, but evidence is lacking in their effectiveness

RA And Autoimmune Forms Of Arthritis

  • The goal: To achieve “remission,” or low disease activity, to reduce risk for further joint damage
  • Drug therapy: DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (such as metho­trexate), often prescribed in combination with NSAIDS or steroids
  • Biologics: Complex injectable or infused medications (such as infliximab) made from living cells to target specific parts of the immune system
  • Patient education: Patients need regular monitoring by a team of physicians, including a rheumatologist, occupational therapist, and primary care physician
Source: American College of Rheumatology