Easing Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Don’t let RA-related joint pain takeover your life. We can help.

You’ve been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a progressive condition that attacks the body’s joints. Now what? Our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers are here to make sure that whatever your diagnosis, you get the proper care and pain management you need. Here are some ways to ease the joint pain and stiffness that comes with RA.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Both ice and heat therapy can provide pain relief while also getting the blood circulating. Cold is particularly good for reducing swelling and inflammation of the joints. You can apply a toilet-wrapped ice pack to the affected joints for up to 15 minutes at a time. You may also choose to soak in a warm bathtub to ease achy, stiff joints.

Strengthening and Mobility Exercises

Staying active can help RA patients improve their symptoms. By getting up and moving every day you can reduce stiffness and swelling in the joints, while improving joint mobility and range of motion. Before beginning any kind of exercise program it’s important to consult with our Brandon, FL, doctors to find out what kinds of activities will improve your symptoms. Some exercises can make RA worse. Beneficial exercises include low-impact aerobics like swimming, as well as strength training and balance training and reconditioning.


Most people with RA will require medication to slow the progression of the disease. The most commonly used type of medications for RA is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. Patients may be prescribed more than one of these types of medications, and these medications work by preventing the immune system from attacking and destroying the joints. Medications such as these may also be combined with biological treatments, which targets the immune system’s response directly to prevent damage to the joints.

Some patients with RA may also find relief from their symptoms through alternative therapies such as:

  • Meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy

If you are experiencing worsening joint pain and stiffness, it’s important that you see a doctor right away to find out what’s going on. With the proper care, the medical team at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, can help slow the progression of RA. Call us today at (813) 655-4646.