How to Choose the Best Course of Treatment to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Rheumatologist—January 19, 2016

Karen Appold, a writer for The Rheumatologist shares the appropriate courses of treatment for patients living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) provided by experts from Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). 

Susan M. Goodman, MD, a rheumatologist at HSS, notes that, "Discussions should include the risks of RA, the risks of therapeutic choices and the anticipated benefits and side effects" of RA treatment in order to choose the best treatment option for each patient.

Vivian P. Bykerk, MD, FRCPC, a rheumatologist at HSS, adds that when she meets with patients she will "explore the patient’s values, their concerns about the disease and what they have read about in terms of its treatment and risk tolerance. Finally, we develop clear goals for treatment and risk tolerance."

Similarly, HSS occupational therapist and hand therapist John Indalecio, OTR/L, CHT, MS, suggests that a common technique for relieving joint pain associated with RA is to remember that, "It is important to actively move the joints throughout the pain-free range."

Likewise, Dana Pitman, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian at HSS, recommends that individuals living with RA should "make food choices that reduce inflammation, rather than cause it." Foods that are minimally processed, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, low-fat dairy and fatty fishes are good food choices for an RA-friendly diet.

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