Rheumatoid Arthritis Information Handout



Rheumatoid Arthritis Information Handout

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation of the synovial membranes in the joints, leading to progressive destruction of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bone. Beyond its impact on joint health, RA can have pervasive effects on systemic organs, making it a complex and challenging condition to manage.

One often-overlooked consequence of RA is the increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by decreased bone density and an elevated risk of fractures. Inflammatory processes inherent to RA, combined with sedentary lifestyles common among patients, contribute to bone loss and deformities, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the hips and pelvis.

For occupational therapy practitioners, understanding and addressing osteoporosis risk in RA patients is paramount to optimizing their occupational performance and overall quality of life. Incorporating strategies to promote regular physical activity tailored to individual needs can help mitigate bone loss and prevent further complications. Additionally, emphasizing the importance of proper weight-bearing throughout all joints can decrease the risk of bone loss and deformities, ultimately enhancing functional independence and well-being.

To assist practitioners in implementing these recommendations effectively, we offer an exclusive illustration as a downloadable resource. This visual aid depicts key concepts and strategies for managing osteoporosis risk in RA patients, serving as a valuable tool for both practitioners and patients alike.

Other helpful links: 

Check out BOT Portal: Resource Site for Occupational Therapy Students and Practitioners

OT Goals for Scar and Inflammation Management

Tips to Increase Stability

OT Goals for Safety and Insight