Ways to Manage Your RA

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Besides medication, what can I do to manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis?

John H. Klippel, MD
We talked a lot about medication as being very important in the treatment of this disease, but there are two other things which are equally important.

: Pull the straps further away.

John H. Klippel, MD
One is attitude and you making a conscious decision that you are going to do something about this disease, all right.

: How nice!

John H. Klippel, MD
It is terribly important for a chronic disease. It can't be a passive thing, like I'm going to take my medication. You have to learn as much as possible. We believe an empowered consumer who learns as much as possible about this disease and then says this disease is not going to take over my life. It is not. That's terribly important in this disease. A supporting family is equally important. RA can be a very lonely disease. I think the final thing that uh we believe is terribly important is exercise is a great way uh to sort of help with the empowerment and to keep joints active.

: Cane, left, right.

John H. Klippel, MD
We went through a phase where we thought exercise was actually damaging to this disease and people were encouraged to not use their joints. Even to the extent at a time that people were put to bed and put in hospitals. It's exactly the wrong thing to do. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis can exercise. Now, in fairness, one has to use common sense. Like one's not going to immediately jump right into an exercise regiment. I think getting a personal trainer for many people is one of the ways to do this and the best place to start for most people is walking. The health benefits of walking 30 minutes each day are astounding. So attitude and exercise are two things they can do. Nobody but them can make the decision to do those kinds of things.