Because the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, there is no causative treatment that can cure this disease. It should really be explained to the patient so that the treatment given out aimed at reducing complaints / symptoms slow the progression of the disease.
The main purpose of the Nursing Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis program is as follows:
- To relieve pain and inflammation.
- To maintain joint function and a maximum capacity of patients.
- To prevent and or correct deformity that occurs in the joints.
- Maintaining independence so as not to depend on others.
The first step in the management of this program is to provide adequate education about the disease to patients, their families and anyone connected with patients. Education provided include; understanding, pathophysiology, causes and management of all program components including complex drug regimens, aid resources to overcome the disease and effective method of management provided by the health care team. The education process should be carried out continuously.
2. Rest / sleep
It is important because rheumatoid arthritis is usually accompanied by severe fatigue. Although fatigue can arise every day, but there was a time when people feel better or heavier. Patients should divide their time a day, became, a few times while on the move, followed by a period of rest.
3. Physical Exercise and thermotherapy
Specific exercises can be beneficial in maintaining joint function. This exercise includes active and passive movements at all joints pain, at least twice a day. Medication for pain relief should be given before starting the exercise. Giving a warm compress on the sore and swollen joints may reduce pain. Paraffin bath with adjustable temperature and bath with hot and cold temperatures can be done at home. Exercise and thermotherapy is best regulated by the health workers who have received special training, such as a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Excessive exercise can damage the supporting structure of the joints that are already weakened by a disease.
4. Diet / Nutrition
Rheumatic Patients do not require a special diet. There is a way of giving a diet with a variety of all sorts, but it's all unsubstantiated. The general principle to obtain a balanced diet is important.
Medications are an important part of the whole program rheumatic disease management. The drugs are used to reduce pain, relieve inflammation and to try to change the course of the disease.