Between 17-23 June, let's challenge the misconceptions of arthritis being a condition of the elderly or associated with ageing.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune condition which, in addition to your internal joints, can affect internal organs such as the heart, lungs and eyes. The auto-immune nature of the condition is what distinguishes RA from the more widely known form of arthritis, psteoarthritis (OA) - caused by wear and tear joints as you get older.
While there is still no cure, if diagnosed and treated adequately, people can expect to lead full and active lives due to the advances in RA treatments.
There are a number of treatments available for all forms of arthritis. However, the treatment will depend on the cause of arthritis. Whilst there is no cure, treatments can slow it down. Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are often divided into two types of medication: disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological treatments. A short course of steroids may be used to help relieve pain and inflammation in the short term. It is important to know how to manage flare ups of rheumatoid arthritis. Use a diary to record your symptoms and keep rescue medication to hand i.e. your favoured medication. Let your rheumatologist know how many flares you are getting so you can be assessed properly. Find out more about treatments and how to control your symptoms.