If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you know how difficult it can be to live with. Chronic joint pain is something you've grown accustomed to, and you may have had to cut back on activities you used to enjoy such as knitting or playing computer games. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available. Here are three ways you can treat your rheumatoid arthritis:
NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. You can purchase them over the counter, and they're non-habit forming. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are the most common NSAIDs. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, NSAIDs can help reduce inflammation in your joints and relieve your pain. Although NSAIDs are considered safe, you should talk to your doctor before beginning to take them regularly, since they can damage your stomach or liver over time.
2. Biologic Drugs
Unlike other forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It's caused by your body's immune system mistakenly attacking the lining of your joints, causing them to become swollen and painful. Biologic drugs are one of the most important ways you can treat your arthritis, since these drugs can stop your arthritis from progressing further. These drugs work by stopping your immune system from attacking your joints. When you begin biologic treatment, your doctor will most likely start you on methotrexate first.
3. Infusion Therapy
If your rheumatoid arthritis doesn't respond to biologic drugs, you may be a candidate for infusion therapy. With infusion therapy, you will be given the same types of biologic drugs, but they will be injected directly into your bloodstream. You will be attached to an IV line, which will then be hooked up to an IV infusion pump to dispense the medicine. You can receive infusion therapy either in your doctor's office or at home. According to the National Home Infusion Association, home infusions are more comfortable and just as safe as ones performed in a medical facility. If you decide you want to do infusion treatments at home, you will have to ask your doctor to help you order an IV infusion pump for home use.
Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't have to control your life. Talk to your doctor about available treatment options and ask if these methods could work for you. It's important to take control of your healthcare. With proper treatment, you can live pain free and participate in all the activities that you love.