Although not as common as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can severely affect joint health and lead to joint deformity and debilitation. The experienced team at Source Healthcare in Santa Monica, California, specializes in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and can devise a plan that reduces your discomfort and improves your quality of life. For a consultation, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints, causing inflammation and pain. Over time, the inflammation may lead to erosion of your joint and joint deformity.
Researchers aren’t entirely certain why some people are more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis than others, but theorize there may be a genetic component that gets triggered by an environmental factor.
You may be at risk of developing the painful arthritic condition if it runs in your family, you’re a smoker, you’re obese, or you’ve been exposed to asbestos or silica. Rheumatoid arthritis also tends to affect women more often than men.
During the early stages of the disease, rheumatoid arthritis often affects your smaller joints, and then progresses to your larger joints. Your symptoms may include swelling, pain, and tenderness.
The joint may also feel warm to the touch. In addition to joint pain, you may feel more fatigued and have a poor appetite as well.
There is no single blood test for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and it can be difficult to diagnose during the early stages.
In addition to a review of your symptoms and a physical exam, you may need additional diagnostic testing to rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as specialized blood tests, X-rays, and/or MRIs.
Currently, there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but with advances in medical treatment, you can go into remission. For management of your rheumatoid arthritis, the team at Source Healthcare may recommend:
You may also benefit from physical and/or occupational therapy to improve joint health, function, and quality of life. If you fail to get relief from your symptoms with conservative treatments or your joint condition worsens, then you may be a candidate for surgery.
The team at Source Healthcare may also offer stem cell therapy as a treatment option for your rheumatoid arthritis, which can help repair the joint damage. Stem cell therapy is a very new and promising treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect your quality of life, but with the right treatment you can successfully manage this chronic disease. Call Source Healthcare or schedule a consultation online today to get started.