Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Physiotherapy treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. It means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, which leads to inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected joints of the body. It involves multiple joints on both side of the body (bilaterally). Commonly affected joints are fingers, wrists, and knees. Inflammation in the joints damages the tissue within it and can cause long-term pain, loss of balance, and deformity.

RA has high morbidity rate which is associated with disabling disease. However, early diagnosis and treatment can avoid pain and damage to the joints which can lead to productive and active living.

There is no cure for RA. Today, early treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs which controls the symptoms is the standard of care along with physiotherapy to maintain joint mobility, to slow disease progression.


Having a family history of RA increases the risk to develop the disease. Also, smoking and obesity increases the risk of developing RA.  


Gender: women are affected two to three times more often than men.


Early symptoms are more general, which includes fatigue, flu-like feeling, tender and swollen joints, reduced muscle power, loss of joint range of motion, significant loss of function and independence and morning stiffness in the joints which may last up to several hours. Commonly affected joints (often on both side of the body) include wrist, elbows, shoulders, hip, knees, ankle, and toes. Hence its limits the daily movements like difficulty making a fist, opening objects, twisting objects, climbing stairs and other. Other signs and symptoms include weight loss and Rheumatoid nodules (small lumps of tissue under the skin).


Timely and precise diagnosis is of high importance in RA treatment, since early diagnosis can arrest disease in many cases, thereby preventing or slowing disease progression, irreparable joint damage, and irreversible disability in up to 90% of RA patients. 


Management should be patient centred while taking into account each patient’s individual needs; therefore a thorough patient assessment must be completed before any treatment is undertaken. Curezone physiotherapy Clinic, Mississauga is a team of multidisciplinary practitioners’ showing effective management of the patients with Rheumatoid arthritis and providing access to all members of the team as necessary.  We make sure we have good communication and cooperation between all team members for providing best results.

RA is a chronic disorder that has no cure. All the currently available treatments are geared towards improving the symptoms and offering a better quality of life. Physiotherapy aims to reduce pain and stiffness, stabilize joints, prevent joint deformity, improve exercise tolerance and muscle power, maximize function Independence and quality of life and promote self-management by utilizing number of various modalities available.

Exercise and education are the most important aspects of physiotherapy intervention.  RA is diagnosed by patient’s symptoms, results of doctor´s examination, assessment of risk factors, family history, joint assessment by ultrasound sonography, and laboratory blood tests.  Ultrasound and MRI are usually recommended for diagnosing and monitoring disease activity.

The common components of Physiotherapy treatment in Mississauga for RA are:

  1. Exercise therapy: Exercises include range of motion exercises, Muscle re-education and strengthening exercises using free weights such as plastic bottle or dumbbells. 
  2. Joint protection
  3. Functional splinting and assistive devices
  4. Massage therapy
  5. Patient education. And self-management

Increase patients’ knowledge about their disease, help patient to make informed choices, encourage self management, empower patient and improve self-confidence. Education should be made available in different languages do suit the local population.

  • Aquatic physical therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It is one of the oldest and the most frequently used treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Paraffin wax bath combined with exercises have shown who provides short-term effects for hands.
  • Tai Chi is another form of Chinese Health martial art form as a therapy for arthritis for centuries.

The therapy goals in most cases are:

  • Pain control
  • Improvement in disease management knowledge
  • Improvement in activities of daily living
  • Manage Joint stiffness and  Range of motion
  • Prevent or control joint damage
  • Improve strength, endurance, fatigue levels and hence the quality of life
  • Improve stability and coordination thereby reducing the risk of fall
  • Maintain Muscle power
  • Checking posture and informing patients about postural awareness and ergonomics.

People who are diagnosed with RA also may experience a phenomenon that is called an “flare up” which occurs usually after experiencing a secondary illness, being involved in a high stress situation, or overexerting oneself.

Use physiotherapeutic modalities can be beneficial in reducing inflammation and pain during a flare up. You can always talk to our physiotherapist and get to know about home program on how to manage your pain during flare up.

Talk to our most experienced Orthopedic and sports physiotherapist at curezone Physiotherapy Mississauga and start your treatments today to improve your quality of life. Call us now at 905 997 4333