5 Tips for Managing your Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here is how your rheumatologist in Haddon Heights and South Jersey, NJ, can help relieve your arthritis pain, reduce risks for joint damage, and reduce disabling function.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a very painful, debilitating disease. It is related to an autoimmune disorder causing severe inflammation in your joints. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to manage rheumatoid arthritis very successfully. Your Rheumatologist can help. Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ can offer a wide variety of rheumatology services, including treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. He proudly serves residents of Haddon Heights, South Jersey, Gloucester County, and Camden County, NJ.

Rheumatoid arthritis is different from other forms of arthritis. Instead of being caused by wear-and-tear such as osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease manifested by severe inflammation. Your body attacks the lining of your joints, called the synovium. Rheumatoid arthritis is often related to genetics and can be seen more frequently in families.

There are 5 important ways you can help manage your condition of joint pain in the early and still undiagnosed phase. 

You should:

  • Avoid activities that are too physically stressful and hurtful. Pain should not last more than an hour after doing an activity. If it does, you should change your activity, so you don’t make your pain worse. This can be a sign of a more significant problem that should be brought to the attention of your physician.
  • Change your position frequently. Change your grip every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent stress to your fingers. Try to get up every 30 minutes and avoid sitting too long.
  • Use ergonomic utensils and tools to prevent hand stress. Pens and utensils with a large diameter grip are easier on your hands and fingers.
  • Rest frequently if necessary, since easy fatigue can be another sign of inflammation. Try to take rest breaks at home or work if possible
  • Do self-care to ease your pain. Gentle soaking in a warm bath can relax sore, tired muscles and make joints feel better. Calming environments, herbal supplements, and bathing can help relieve stress and also painful joints.

If such simple measures are not adequate in relieving such symptoms, it is suggested to see your primary doctor for evaluation and you may be referred to a Rheumatologist for further diagnosis and management

Your Rheumatologist is an expert in treating rheumatoid arthritis and may recommend multiple modalities for the management of your disease.

Medication therapy includes anti-inflammatory medications. Other more advanced treatments may include Disease-Modifying Drugs of the standard conventional type or the biologic type. Biologic medications are more advanced medicines that work on more specific parts of the immune system, and these have been available over the past 22 years. These have made huge changes in the successful care of RA patients and huge changes in the quality and longevity of life in such patients. Such advanced and effective intervention and care work best when introduced early, but it is never too late to start treatment. It is important to understand that RA can be more than arthritis alone, and can have serious systemic medical consequences.

Always remember that lack of a cure does not mean a lack of effective life-saving treatment!!

An appropriate exercise and stretching regimen can help your mobility and balance and functionality.

Braces, splints, and other assistive devices could be indicated for those that have already developed joint damage and dysfunction.

If your rheumatoid arthritis is severe, your rheumatologist may recommend surgical therapy as a last resort for those with severely damaged joints and functional impairment. 

To learn more about managing your Rheumatoid Arthritis and how your Rheumatologist can help, please call Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ, serving residents of Haddon Heights, South Jersey, Gloucester County, and Camden County, NJ. He is a Board Certified Rheumatologist and be reached by calling (856) 547-8004.

You are encouraged to reach out to him now.   Feel free to visit his website markfishermd.com. New patients are welcome! Take care of yourself! Seek early help with a comprehensive program by an expert.

Mark Fisher MD FACR

713 Station Ave

Haddon Heights, NJ 08035