Rheumatoid arthritis management available online today

In order to treat your rheumatoid arthritis, consult with one of our board-certified primary care doctors online today to discuss the best ways to get relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Get refills of existing rheumatoid arthritis prescriptions today.*

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Personalized treatment strategies available

Comprehensive Rheumatoid Arthritis management plans, ensuring appropriate specialist management

Get relief with doctor-recommended prescriptions, if deemed appropriate by our doctors

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors are not rheumatologists and cannot treat all cases of rheumatoid arthritis. They also are not qualified to be primary managers of your treatment long term. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately. 

Learn about rheumatoid arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation in the joints and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis affects people of any age, and it is estimated that 1.3 million Americans have the condition.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are some strategies that can help manage the symptoms. Inflammatory arthritis is a debilitating disease that can cause great pain and inflammation in the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, but one of the most serious is rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes

RA happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. According to the Arthritis Foundation, while the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet known, researchers are exploring many different possible causes. Some possible risk factors include:

  • Age

    Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages but tend to older people are at an increased risk.

  • Genetics

    People born with certain genes (human leukocyte antigen gene) are more likely to develop RA. If a family member has it, you may have it too.

  • Obesity

     Weight gain increases the risk of developing RA.

  • Sex

    Females are at higher risk than men for developing RA.

  • Smoking

    Smokers are at higher risk than the rest of the population.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis affect more than just the joints. In some rheumatoid arthritis patients, the disease also causes inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. The symptoms can come and go, and they may be worse in the morning or after a period of rest. Here are some common symptoms:

    • Chronic pain in joints leading to limit in range of motion

    • Fever

    • Morning stiffness in joints

    • Swollen joints

    • Weakness/fatigue

How to treat rheumatoid arthritis

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are treatments that can help with pain management and reduce the progression of the disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation primary treatment goal is to put RA in remission by stopping inflammation.

Treatment typically involves a combination of medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. Physical therapy (or movement therapy) can help to improve range of motion and reduce pain. Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking can also help to improve symptoms and reduce disease progression.

In severe cases where medications fail, surgical procedures may be necessary for repair or total joint replacement.

Rheumatoid arthritis medication

The goals of medical treatment are pain relief, improve joint function, and prevent further damage to the joints.

  • Medications commonly used to treat RA include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic DMARDs. NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation and pain. DMARDs slow the progression of RA by inhibiting the immune system.

    Biologic agents are a newer type of DMARD that targets specific proteins involved in the inflammatory process. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints. With proper treatment, most people with RA can live full and active lives.

    NOTE: PlushCare does not offer biologic agents/therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. Our doctors can refer you to specialty Rheumatologists, who may be able to prescribe biologic agents/therapies as part of treatment.

  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

How to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

There are several things you can do to lower your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, or to help keep the condition under control if you have already been diagnosed. First, it is important to eat a healthy diet and to get regular exercise. Additionally, if you smoke cigarettes, quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health, as well as your rheumatoid arthritis. PlushCare physicians can help advise you on diet and exercise, and can assist you with quitting smoking too.

Finally, it is important to see your doctor regularly so that they can monitor your condition and make any necessary changes to your treatment plan.

When to see a doctor for rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs, such as the lungs and eyes. While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment is essential to managing the condition and preventing long-term damage.

If you experience chronic joint pain or swelling, your doctor will likely test for rheumatoid arthritis as part of the investigation. If you already have RA, it is important to see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: joint pain or swelling that lasts for more than two weeks, fatigue, fever, or unintentional weight loss.

The doctor can come to a diagnosis using the following:

  • Physical exam or a virtual exam (observation of your joints over video)

  • Medical history

  • Blood tests and/or imaging tests

If you think you may have rheumatoid arthritis, don't delay in seeking medical attention.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment FAQs

  • Is there a cure for rheumatoid arthritis?

    There is no cure for RA, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Some medications that can ease symptoms are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as steroid medications. Examples of over the counter NSAIDs are ibuprofen and Advil, but steroids are available for short term use by prescription from a PlushCare online doctor if you qualify.

  • What are signs of rheumatoid arthritis?

    It is important to recognize the signs of rheumatoid arthritis because detection and treatment in the early stages can help prevent joint damage. Symptoms of RA typically include joint pain, stiffness, and swollen joints. The joints may also be warm to the touch and may appear red or inflamed. In severe cases, RA can lead to damage of the cartilage and bone within the joints. RA may also result in fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.

  • How do you treat rheumatoid arthritis without drugs?

    While there are many medications available, some simple changes could help ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

    Exercise and rest are both important. Low impact activity can improve range of motion in joints while strengthening muscles. Physical therapists who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis can recommend specific exercises to help. Our doctors can help you with an exercise prescription, and a physical therapy referral if needed.

    Get enough rest, as it is important to give the joints time to reduce inflammation. Deep breathing exercises can also help. Chronic insomnia can make your symptoms worse.

    Weight loss also can help reduce inflammation and inflammatory symptoms, as well. If you have struggled to lose weight on your own, PlushCare doctors can also help with this. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a big impact on symptoms. 

    Having a diet that eliminates inflammatory sugars and starches may also help. Certain foods that are rich in antioxidants can help control and reduce inflammation. Focusing on high-quality protein in the diet can help your body heal and keep excess weight under control.

    A final option is surgery. Surgery is rarely necessary, but can sometimes reduce pain and improve function. Some procedures that are routinely performed to help rheumatoid arthritis are synovectomy, tendon repair, joint fusion, and joint replacement surgery.

3 simple steps to request treatment for rheumatoid arthritis today

Step 1

Book a rheumatoid arthritis treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription to treat your rheumatoid arthritis, if indicated, at any local pharmacy.

Obtain referrals to specialists in-person for ongoing, long term management.

Related conditions to rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to a wide range of other health problems and is related to the following conditions:

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome

    • Lymphoma

    • Rheumatoid nodules Osteoporosis

Rheumatoid arthritis pricing details

How pricing works

To request rheumatoid arthritis treatment and get a new or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

Copay

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

$129

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment resources

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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.