Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can feel like an arduous journey, impacting both your physical well-being and your overall outlook on life. The challenges can be daunting, often casting a shadow on your aspirations for an active lifestyle. But take heart, for there is a path forward – one that doesn't necessitate relying solely on pills or injections. This guide aims to empower you with insights into how to get back to living an active lifestyle when you have rheumatoid arthritis, delving into the transformative power of three key modalities that can help elevate your life.

A Collaborative Approach to Wellness

Your journey towards an active life is a collaborative effort, one where your dedication intersects with the guidance of skilled professionals. At Next Level Physio, we understand the value of comprehensive care that transcends traditional solutions. Our commitment is to accompany you every step of the way, offering support, hope, and innovative therapies that have the potential to reshape your experience of living with RA.

Navigating the Landscape of Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA goes beyond affecting your joints; it can have profound implications for your holistic well-being. The persistent pain and inflammation can test your resilience, potentially leading to a sense of helplessness. Yet, amidst these challenges, there's hope – the promise of an active life that's within reach. Many individuals like you yearn to break free from the constraints of RA and continue their passion for an active lifestyle. If you're one of them, seeking a way forward, this guide is tailored to you.

Managing RA can be complicated, and you're not alone. You now have access to an array of options that align with your rheumatologist's plan of care. At Next Level Physio, addressing inflammation is at the forefront of our phase 1 approach. Our priority is enabling you to move freely, unburdened by pain and inflammation. To this end, we've curated three treatment approaches that can empower individuals with RA to engage in physical activity without compromising their well-being. 

The Art of Dry Needling: Easing Pain through Precision

Dry needling is a technique that holds transformative potential for RA patients. By targeting specific trigger points, ligaments, joints, and muscle tissue, it addresses areas that intensify pain sensations. The process involves the insertion of fine needles, followed by the application of a gentle electrical current to expand the therapeutic impact. This combination encourages muscle relaxation, alleviates secondary pain effects like muscle tension, and contributes to reducing overall reactivity to pain. The result? Relief where it's needed most.

Harnessing the Regenerative Power of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy may seem counterintuitive, but its benefits for RA are profound. By utilizing acoustic waves, this therapy stimulates tissue healing, improves blood circulation, and promotes relaxation of stressed muscle tissue. Remarkably versatile, shockwave therapy serves as a catalyst for your body's natural healing mechanisms. It triggers responses such as promoting blood vessel growth, reducing inflammation, safeguarding cartilage(1), facilitating bone remodeling, and attracting specialized cells for tissue repair. In essence, shockwave therapy stands as a dedicated partner in aiding your body's regenerative processes.

Blood Flow Restriction: A Strategic Approach to Strength Building

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) therapy defies expectations with its innovative approach. By temporarily restricting blood flow to targeted muscles during exercise, it triggers the release of growth factors and enhances muscle strength. For those with RA, this technique offers an avenue to build muscle mass without overloading inflamed joints. An illuminating study by Rodriguez et al. showcased the effectiveness of low-load resistance training with BFR for improving muscle mass and strength in women with RA(2). This approach is proving to be a game-changer in enhancing mobility and reducing pain.

Next Level Physio: Bridging Possibilities

At Next Level Physio, we're advocates for the power of movement. We recognize the profound impact of physical activity on mental and emotional well-being. Our mission is to offer you an array of options that transcend or enhance conventional approaches involving pills and injections. With expertise grounded in science and executed by our skilled physiotherapists in Cary, NC and Morrisville, we're poised to redefine your experience of living with RA.  Learn more by clicking here.

The Path Forward: You Define Your Journey

Remember, your journey is unique, and you're not alone in navigating it. These modalities in our Regenerative Physio program are crafted to support and empower you, offering hope, relief, and renewed vitality. Your strides towards an active life are embraced and guided by these innovative treatments, allowing you to transcend the limitations imposed by rheumatoid arthritis.


  1. Cheng, J.-H., Yen, K.-T., Chou, W.-Y., Jhan, S.-W., Hsu, S.-L., Ko, J.-Y., Wang, C.-J., Kuo, C.-E. A., Wu, S.-Y., Hsu, T.-C., & Hsu, C.-C. (Year). Autologous Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Combined with Shockwave Therapy Synergistically Ameliorates the Osteoarthritic Pathological Factors in Knee Joint. *Pharmaceuticals (Basel)*, 14(4), 318. Published online 2021 Apr 1.
  2. Rodrigues, R., Ferraz, R. B., Kurimori, C. O., Guedes, L. K., Lima, F. R., de Sá-Pinto, A. L., Gualano, B., & Roschel, H. (2020). Low-Load Resistance Training With Blood-Flow Restriction in Relation to Muscle Function, Mass, and Functionality in Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Care & Research (Hoboken), 72(6), 787-797. doi: 10.1002/acr.23911. Epub 2020 May 14.