Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Specific treatment for rheumatoid arthritis will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
  • Expectation for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

The earlier a diagnosis is made and treatment is started, the more joint damage and impairment can be prevented. Treatment can range from simple therapies, such as diet and rest, to more aggressive therapies, including medications. Treatment may include:

  • Resting affected joints regularly
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
  • Disease-modifying medication, such as slow-acting medications (to slow bone deformation)
  • Corticosteroids (to reduce inflammation)
  • Immunosuppressive medications, such as methotrexate (to suppress inflammation)
  • Exercise (to keep the joints as flexible as possible)
  • Physical therapy (to keep the joints from "freezing" and becoming immobile)
  • Heat or cold application to the joints
  • Surgery (to repair, replace, or fuse together an affected joint)
  • Special devices (to provide support for the affected joint)

Our Clinics

See a Stanford specialist to learn about your treatment options. Visit one of our clinics to make an appointment.