There are over a hundred different types of inflammation of the joints, or arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis that mainly affects older adults, rheumatoid arthritis can begin in young adults and cause severe pain and mobility issues. Understanding the causes and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can help those with this disease seek treatment. While there is not a cure, the pain specialists at Medici Spine & Pain can help those with rheumatoid arthritis manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Symptoms and Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body is attacking itself. This disease causes an immune response where the body attacks its own joints, causing inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can also attack other tissues and organs. The disease is different from other types of arthritis, as it will affect joints on both sides of the body equally. Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Inflammation in the smaller joints (fingers, wrist, etc.)
- Joints are warm, swollen and tender
- Stiffness in joints after inactivity
- Fever, fatigue and loss of appetite
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. It is believed that genetic factors can put some people at higher risk for the disease if they are exposed to certain environmental factors. Females, smokers and overweight people are at higher risk, as are those with a family history of the disease.
Treating and Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Since rheumatoid arthritis attacks and damages tissues in the body, controlling the damage as quickly as possible can manage the pain and other symptoms. As this disease progresses, it may cause deformed and unstable joints, resulting in chronic pain and limited mobility. The treatments we offer at Medici Spine & Pain include medication management, physical therapy, injection therapy and other modalities for managing pain. If treated early, rheumatoid arthritis can often be controlled and even put into remission.
If you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or have been diagnosed with it, contact Medici Spine & Pain today for an appointment. We offer advanced methods of treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis at our clinics in in the greater Atlanta area.