Lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and return your normal level of functioning. They include:

  • Exercise
  • Appropriate rest


Reasonable, careful exercise can help improve mobility and flexibility. Exercise can strengthen your muscles, which may help keep your joints more stable. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. You’ll need to tailor your exercise program to be protective of the joints that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. You may be advised to consult an exercise physiologist or physical therapist to help you design a safe exercise plan.

Get Appropriate Rest

It is important that you get appropriate rest. Yet it’s also important that you stay as active as you possibly can. Talk to your doctor about how to strike a balance so that you are well rested but still getting adequate exercise.

When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Always contact your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms don’t improve with the recommended changes
  • Your symptoms worsen
  • You develop any new symptoms