Secrets to effective treatment

Unlocking the secrets.

View transcript

Secrets To Effective Treatment

Dr. Samuel Whittle
Rheumatologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide

There are several secrets to achieving really effective therapy in inflammatory diseases such as these. Probably the most important thing is an early diagnosis and early effective treatment. We know that for any inflammatory disease that getting control of the inflammation as thoroughly and as quickly as possible is the best possible way to restore people back to normal function and to ultimately prevent damage to the joints. But there is a lot of other things that people can do to maximise their chances of a good outcome. Probably the most important thing we recognise now is to avoid smoking. Smoking increases the risk of all inflammatory rheumatic diseases, it reduces the chances of a good response to therapy, and it probably makes the disease worse overall. Also, smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and we know that in the long term people with inflammatory disease are at risk for cardiovascular disease so stopping smoking in those who are current smokers is really important.

Assoc. Professor Peter Youssef
Rheumatologist, Royal Prince Alfred Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics, Sydney
Chair – Arthritis Australia Scientific Advisory Committee

The secrets of successful treatment are diagnosing early and treating early. It’s also important to aim for complete remission. By aiming for complete remission, damage is prevented, and function is maintained, people are kept at work, and cardiovascular disease is reduced in the longer term.

 

Learn more

Wrist and hand splints may be recommended for you if you need protection and support for painful, swollen or weak joints in your hands...

If rheumatoid arthritis is left untreated, in the majority of people it will continue to progress, so people will experience ongoing inflamm

Blood tests can be useful to help diagnose some, but not all, types of arthritis. Always discuss your blood test results with your doctor.