Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease that can cause pain, inflammation, and discomfort across joints in your body. It’s a chronic illness with no known cure, which means treatment is an ongoing process. Thankfully, there are a number of different treatment options to consider. So whether you’re looking for arthritis treatment in London or somewhere else, you’ve got a few different options when it comes to managing rheumatoid arthritis.
In this article, we’re going to look at the latest treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis to help give you a deeper understanding of what’s available.
Medications that can help with rheumatoid arthritis
There are a few different medications available to help treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Their purpose varies from slowing the progression of arthritis to reducing inflammation levels and reducing pain. Below is a list of the most commonly used medications for rheumatoid arthritis:
• Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD): DMARD medication slows the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and can help prevent further damage to joints.
• Biological treatments: These medications are usually given alongside DMARDs and can help prevent your immune system from attacking joints. Etanercept and Infliximab are two of the most common forms of biological treatments.
• Janus kinase inhibitors: These are a specific type of DMARD that is useful when other DMARDs haven’t helped. Tofacitinib and Baricitinib are the two most commonly used types of Janus kinase inhibitors.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID): NSAIDs help reduce inflammation in joints and relieve pain. They are incredibly common and include over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
• COX-2 inhibitors: These include drugs like celecoxib which work in a similar way to NSAIDs by reducing inflammation. They’re a safer long-term option when compared to NSAIDs.
• Steroids: Steroids work to relieve inflammation and joint pain. They’re available as tablets or via injection but are only suitable for short-term applications due to side effects.
Surgical approaches to rheumatoid arthritis
Surgery is another way to help with rheumatoid arthritis by fixing damaged joints. There are a few procedures used here, depending on the area of damage and how badly damaged the joints are. Surgical options include:
• Arthroscopy and synovectomy: Arthroscopies are medical procedures used to perform synovectomies, which remove inflamed linings of joints.
• Tendon repair: As the name suggests, tendon repair surgery looks to fix loosened or damaged tendons.
• Joint replacement: Joint replacement surgery removes the entire joint and replaces it with a new, artificial replacement.
If you’d like to discuss other forms of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, such as physical therapy or lifestyle changes, or learn more about arthritis treatment in London, contact Dr Stephanie Barrett today on 020 7730 8508.