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Should I see a physical or occupational therapist if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

ANSWER

They can give you tips on how to strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility. Your doctor can give you a referral. PTs and OTs can show you the safest ways to move your body for everyday tasks, like lifting a box, to help protect your joints. They can also teach you exercises to do at home safely. You want to build strength, but you don't want to overdo it and trigger a flare.

SOURCES:

Pennington Biomedical Research Center: "Women and Heart Disease."

Harvard Health Publications: "Joint inflammation may raise risk of heart disease."

Ohio State University Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Risk of Depression, Inflammation."

Arthritis Today: "Fish May Reduce Inflammation."

Harvard Medical School: "Patient Education: 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Today: "Eat to Beat Joint Inflammation."           

American Heart Association: "Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations."

Arthritis Today: "Inflammation and Heart Disease."

Arthritis Foundation: "Exercise and Arthritis," "Tai Chi. A Program for Better Living."

Arthritis Foundation: "Quality Measurements for Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Cochrane Summaries: "Tai chi for rheumatoid arthritis."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Rheumatoid Arthritis and CAM."

UpToDate: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview."

Reviewed by David Zelman on December 12, 2018

SOURCES:

Pennington Biomedical Research Center: "Women and Heart Disease."

Harvard Health Publications: "Joint inflammation may raise risk of heart disease."

Ohio State University Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Risk of Depression, Inflammation."

Arthritis Today: "Fish May Reduce Inflammation."

Harvard Medical School: "Patient Education: 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Today: "Eat to Beat Joint Inflammation."           

American Heart Association: "Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations."

Arthritis Today: "Inflammation and Heart Disease."

Arthritis Foundation: "Exercise and Arthritis," "Tai Chi. A Program for Better Living."

Arthritis Foundation: "Quality Measurements for Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Cochrane Summaries: "Tai chi for rheumatoid arthritis."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Rheumatoid Arthritis and CAM."

UpToDate: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview."

Reviewed by David Zelman on December 12, 2018

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Are therapists useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis?

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