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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Drugs alone are not enough!


Physical therapy helps patients with rheumatoid arthritis to improve their mobility. Constant pain and stiff joints are signs of rheumatoid arthritis and the right therapy can help manage the pain and hopefully cure it.

Although the inflammatory form of rheumatism cannot be cured but it can be slowed down with a good therapeutic approach. Crucially, a consultation with a rheumatologist is started as early as possible with the treatment for a better result. That means that the disease can be slowed or in many cases even stopped.

Different kinds of drugs



Medication should be started not later than three months after the outbreak of the pain as recommended by the Professional Association of German Internist of the BDI.

In inflammatory rheumatic diseases, there are two types of drugs used: on the one hand those that relieve the pain and discomfort, on the other hand those long term impact on disease progression. On the dose of medication that really help, is different from patient to patient and must be determined individually.

But drugs alone are not enough – beyond physiotherapy, occupational therapy and many other so-called physical therapy methods are useful. The methods are as follows:

Physical therapy (physiotherapy)

Regular exercises under expert guidance can help improve your mobility and thus combat morning stiffness. It also strengthens the muscles, which in turn relieves the joints. Bath exercise is gentle joint training method. Physiotherapy is prescribed by a doctor and the patient is an essential part of the treatment of rheumatism.

Occupational therapy

Together with occupational therapy, patients can learn how to move joints every day with simple exercises. It also have other tools such as hand and bracelet adjustments or special supportive orthotic and rails that protect the joints and help prevent pain.

Heating and cooling therapy or simply heat therapy

health-careA cold treatment or cryotherapy is a cold chamber with cold spray or cooled gel packs that decreases pronounced inflammation. The coldness is pleasing to “overheated” joints. Milder cases of inflammatory relapses, for some patients find warmth beneficial – for example, using mud and mud packs and warm baths.

Other possibilities are the electric and ultrasonic therapy that promote blood circulation and relaxes the muscles, leech therapy can also be used promote blood circulation or the use of acupuncture and homeopathic remedies.

In consultation with your physician, you as the patient should gradually filter out those methods that will best help you and your case. All physical therapies are only applied in normal cases based on the number and amount of drugs you are using. Of course, it is also possible to increase physical therapy and slowly decrease intake of prescription drugs.