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Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Symptoms include pain and limited function of affected joints. The diagnosis of arthritis can be confusing to the millions of people living with this disorder. Osteoarthritis (OA) is often confused with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but they are two very different conditions. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where antibodies reaction to substances that occur naturally in the body. Symptoms of RA are fatigue, anemia, lumps, redness, flare-ups, dry mouth, physical deformities, and sensation of pins and needles. At Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, we are dedicated to helping you be as healthy as possible. Learn about the resources and programs available in our community to help you or a loved one manage arthritis pain. 

RA Self-Management:
There’s no cure for RA, but early aggressive treatment can stop inflammation, which can help decrease long-term complications.

Medications- such as DMARDs (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug) can help control progression.

Activity- Do not push yourself, schedule rest and breaks. Try to increase your exercise durations to about 30 minutes 5 days/wk. Activity can be broken up into shorter durations, several times a day.

Arthritis programs in the community:
Area hospitals, medical facilities, and health care providers offer classes of various lengths for individuals. Typical programs range from 4 to 12 sessions and include information on: 

  • Medication for arthritis 
  • The impact of your diet
  • How to reduce pain and increase your range of movement
  • Movements you can do regularly to increase strength and maintain muscle mass
  • Simple arthritis exercises you can do using household items such as a chair
  • Exercises for arthritis you can do in a swimming pool

Community resources: 

Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, Inc.
(716) 688-4033 or (716) 886-3145


Additional resources: 

American Holistic Health Organization

Arthritis Foundation®

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

American College of Rheumatology- provides information about RA for patients, assists with finding a Rheumatologists in your area and provides a social media forum for online support group. 

Contact our Health Management Team

Speak with a case manager today! Call 1-877-878-8785, option 2. 

Did you know?

Members eligible to receive a wellness debit card can redeem their card at yoga studios, fitness centers, physical therapy offices, and more. Find out where you can use your card today!