Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the body’s immune system, which first targets the lining of the joint called the synovium. This results in pain, stiffness, swelling, joint damage, and loss of function. Inflammation often affects joints of the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to occur symmetrically and this helps to distinguish it from other diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes pain in the tissues, which support and move the bones and joints of the body. Stiffness and localized tender points result in pain in the muscles and tendons, particularly in the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. Patients usually experience fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Medications to treat the condition include drugs that would help to ease the symptoms and would slow down the disease.
The basic goals of rheumatoid arthritis fibromyalgia treatments are to:
• Stop the inflammation
• Relieve the symptoms
• Prevent further joint and organ damage
• Improve physical functionality and overall well-being
• Reduce any long-term complications
To meet these goals, the doctor follows these strategies:
• Early, aggressive treatment
This strategy is to reduce or stop inflammation as quickly as possible.
• Targeting remission
The ultimate goal of treating these ailments is to stop it and achieve remission, meaning minimal or absolutely no signs or symptoms of active inflammation.
• Tight control
Getting all the disease activity to a low level and keeping it there is what is called having “tight control of RA.”
Surgery for fibromyalgia may never be needed, but it can be an important option for people with permanent damage that limits their daily function, mobility and independence. Joint replacement surgery is an excellent choice. It can relieve pain and restore function in joints severely damaged by arthritis. Hip and knee replacements are the most common. However, with the advancement of medicinal science, ankles, shoulders, wrists, elbows and other joints are also considered for replacement.
Biologics may work more quickly than traditional drugs and are injected or given by infusion in a hospital or nursing home. Because they target specific steps in the inflammatory process, they don’t wipe out the entire immune response as some other treatments do. In many people, a biologic can slow, modify or even stop the disease – even when other treatments haven’t helped much.
Apart from conventional medicine, some common alternative treatments that have shown evidence to heal rheumatoid arthritis include:
• Fish oil
Many studies have suggested that fish oil supplements may substantially reduce rheumatoid arthritis complications like pain and stiffness. Fish oil can interfere with other medications, hence, consult your doctor before taking this remedy, if you already on a medication.
• Plant oil
The seeds of plants like evening primrose, borage, and black currant contain a particular fatty acid that helps in treating rheumatoid arthritis pain and morning stiffness. Seek an expert advice before opting for this natural treatment.
• Tai chi
This movement therapy involves simple exercises and stretches combined with deep breathing. Many people use tai chi to relieve stress in their lives. Studies have found out that tai chi may reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain.