Rheumatoid arthritis – new NICE guidance February 2009

Posted on April 16, 2009. Filed under: Rheumatology | Tags: , |

Rheumatoid arthritis: the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults
Guidance type:  Clinical guideline
Date issued:  February 2009

Summary

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term disease in which joints in the body become inflamed, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. It is known as an ‘autoimmune disease’ because it is caused when the body’s immune system, which normally fights infection, starts to attack healthy joints. At times, rheumatoid arthritis can be very painful and affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. It is not known why rheumatoid arthritis develops, and there is no cure. However, understanding of the disease has improved, and there are now effective treatments that can help ease the pain and symptoms, and slow down the disease. It is very important that treatment is started early to minimise damage to joints.

The advice in the NICE guideline covers the care of adults with rheumatoid arthritis. It does not specifically look at other types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis. NICE has also produced guidance on osteoarthritis.

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