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New Arthritis Treatment Guidelines

New Arthritis Treatment Guidelines Available

Physicians who treat patients with arthritis and related conditions now have more help in selecting treatments, thanks to a growing library of new and updated clinical guidelines and recommendations.

When faced with both common and uncommon situations, unanswered questions or complicated cases, guidelines and recommendations can provide physicians with answers without the need to personally do exhaustive searches of the medical literature, says Michael Ward, MD, an investigator for the National Institutes of Health.

Guidelines are not meant to replace the judgment of a knowledgeable physician or the preferences of a patient, says Dr. Ward.

“The [American College of Rheumatology] makes the point that these are not requirements, but need to be judged in the context of each individual patient, because each individual patient is different, has a different medical history, has different comorbidities or different contraindications to particular treatments, and all of that needs to be factored in when deciding on any particular course of action,” says Dr. Ward, who was principal investigator for new recommendations for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.
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