Millions of patients have moderate and severe rheumatoid arthritis which causes significant stiffness, pain and swelling of joints. They may have difficulty doing simple tasks first thing in the morning such as squeezing toothpaste, grasping and taking lids off jars. They feel like ‘the tin man in the Wizard of Oz and could sure use a lube job’. Anti-inflammatory medicines may help the pain but do not slow the progression of joint damage and deformity.
Today there are medications like Methotrexate and Biologic therapies which target specific molecules that cause the disease and can give people ‘their life back’.
These medications have changed the way which we think about rheumatoid arthritis as no longer a ‘crippling’ illness but one that can be controlled and possibly cured.