Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes pain, puffiness (swelling), and stiffness of the joints. It is a long-term (chronic) disease. It can affect the whole body, even the eyes and lungs.

HOME CARE

  • Stay active, but lessen activity when the disease gets worse.

  • Eat healthy foods.

  • Put heat on the affected joints when you wake up and before activity. Keep the heat on for as long as told by your doctor.

  • Put ice on the affected joints after activity or exercise.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • Take all medicine and other dietary pills (supplements) as told by your doctor.

  • Use a splint as told by your doctor. Splints help keep joints in a certain position to keep the joint working right.

  • Do not sleep with pillows under your knees.

  • Go to programs that can keep you updated on treatments and ways to deal with your disease.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You have times where you pass out (faint).

  • You have times where you are really weak.

  • You suddenly have a hot, painful joint that feels worse than your normal joint ache.

  • You have chills.

  • You have a fever.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.