Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tips to better manage your symptoms

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis can be difficult for you and your family. At BioPro Biologics Pharmacy, we have Primary Care Pharmacists working in a multidisciplinary practice who can help you better manage this disease and answer any questions you may have. Here are some tips to help you better manage Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  1. Recognize flare-ups and know when to seek medical advice

Early recognition of worsening symptoms is very important in the management of Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you have a flare-up, see your doctor as soon as you can so that it is appropriately treated and followed up on. Early intervention can reduce disease progression and prevent joint deformities.

  1. Adherence to your prescription medications

Rheumatoid Arthritis, if not treated promptly, can become a very debilitating disease. Prescription medications slow disease progression and prevent joint deformities. Remember to take your medications consistently to get your arthritis under control and/or to prevent flare-ups. If you have concerns about your medications, their side effects, and/or their risk/benefit profile, feel free to book an appointment with a BioPro Primary Care Pharmacist for a consultation.

  1. A balance of rest and exercise

Stay active! There are multiple health benefits associated with regular physical activity such as preventing cardiovascular disease, increasing overall mood, and improving bone and joint strength. But remember not to overdo it! See an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist at our health centre if you have questions about which exercises and activities are appropriate for you.

  1. Avoid smoking

Smoking is associated with a more severe form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and may reduce the effectiveness of some Rheumatoid Arthritis medications. If you are interested in quitting smoking, talk to one of our Primary Care Pharmacists to review available options, including government-funded ones. BC residents are eligible for coverage of up to 3 months of smoking cessation products!

  1. Use of assistive devices

Protect your joints and minimize fatigue! Splints, braces, canes and special kitchen tools      can reduce pain, prevent deformity, as well as stabilize and reduce stress on the joints. Consider seeing an Occupational Therapist – they can develop a program to increase your mobility and functionality. Stop by BioPro Biologics Pharmacy for a selection of special assistive devices!


References:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/bc-guidelines/rheumatoid-arthritis#12

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng100/chapter/Recommendations#non-pharmacological-management

https://www.arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/rheumatoid-arthritis

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw86269

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284707/

https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/exercise/

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