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Answer to your Health Question

Question:

Can rheumatoid arthritis be healed, and what is good, please help me.

Thank you.

Elsa.

Answer:

Dear Elsa,

There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis.

To date, the goal of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint destruction and deformity.

Newer medications that represent a novel approach to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are products of modern biotechnology.

These are referred to as the biologic medications or biological response modifiers. In comparison with traditional DMARDs, the biologic medications have a much more rapid onset of action and can have powerful effects on stopping progressive joint damage.

In general, their methods of action are also more directed, defined, and targeted.

While biologic medications are often combined with traditional DMARDs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, they are generally not used with other biologic medications because of the unacceptable risk for serious infections.

The Prosorba column therapy involves pumping blood drawn from a vein in the arm into an apheresis machine, or cell separator.

This machine separates the liquid part of the blood (the plasma) from the blood cells.

The Prosorba column is a plastic cylinder about the size of a coffee mug that contains a sand-like substance coated with a special material called Protein A.

Protein A is unique in that it binds unwanted antibodies from the blood that promote the arthritis.

The Prosorba column works to counter the effect of these harmful antibodies.

The Prosorba column is indicated to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients with long-standing disease who have failed or are intolerant to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

The exact role of this treatment is being evaluated by doctors, and it is not commonly used currently.

Proper, regular exercise is important in maintaining joint mobility and in strengthening the muscles around the joints.

Swimming is particularly helpful because it allows exercise with minimal stress on the joints.

Physical and occupational therapists are trained to provide specific exercise instructions and can offer splinting supports.

For example, wrist and finger splints can be helpful in reducing inflammation and maintaining joint alignment.

Devices such as canes, toilet seat raisers, and jar grippers can assist in the activities of daily living. Heat and cold applications are modalities that can ease symptoms before and after exercise.


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