Recognizing the Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Living with rheumatoid arthritis is painful and limiting. However, your quality of life can be much improved if you start tackling this issue as soon as possible after its onset. At our Greenville pain center, you will find a team of experienced doctors who will help you stay active and pain-free.

This is why it is important to understand the signs of rheumatoid arthritis, the risk factors and the potential complications of this condition. Let us discuss all of them in detail.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition. This means that the immunity system mistakes cells in your body for pathogens and attacks them. In the case of this specific condition, the immune system attacks cells in the joints.

This condition usually affects several joints at the same time, especially the fingers, wrists and knees. The joints become inflamed, misshapen and painful. In time, the joint tissue will deteriorate, making it increasingly harder for patients to use the respective joints.

Currently, there is no treatment to completely cure RA or any other autoimmune diseases, although there is intense work in the field of genetic therapy.

The Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Since RA is a degenerative condition, it is important to recognize its early signs and take action. Getting diagnoses is essential for starting a course of treatment that will help you reduce the negative effects of the condition on your joints and enjoy an active life.

The worrying symptoms that should send you to the doctor are:

  • Pain or stiffness in more than one joint
  • The same symptoms of tenderness, pain, or stiffness in both sides of the body (both knees or wrists)
  • Weight loss without trying or changing your diet
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weakness

Some patients will also develop rheumatoid nodules – lumps or masses growing under the skin in the area of the affected joint. These lumps are freely movable and can vary in size from a few inches (like a pea) to the size of a lemon.

rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition

Risk Factors for Developing RA

The doctors at our Greenville pain center know that certain people are more at risk to develop rheumatoid arthritis. First of all, women are three times more predisposed than men to have RA. Age is another risk factor, as the condition is very frequent among older adults over 65.

Other risk factors documented by doctors are:

  • Smoking and exposure to smoking in childhood
  • For women, not giving birth during the fertile years
  • Obesity
  • Genetics

Potential Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Keeping RA under control is extremely important because this condition can trigger other serious issues such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Once obesity sets in, the medications used to manage RA become less effective.

Finally, people with RA are often forced to stop working at an early age, thus being unable to save enough for their golden years in their 401(k) pension account.

Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

You may wonder: is it possible to slow down RA and enjoy a full life? The answer is yes. Our doctors have significant experience in science-based methods that help RA patients live pain-free and maintain the use of their joints.

The most effective treatments we recommend are:

  • Chiropractic adjustments that reduce inflammation in the joints and prevent the formation of scar tissue
  • Nerve blocks to reduce pain
  • Medication management to find the best combination of drugs and dosage for you
  • Injections with steroids and analgesic substances in the affected area
  • Physical therapy to stay fit and prevent obesity

Come to Our Greenville Pain Center to Find Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid arthritis is no longer a sentence to a life of pain and immobility. You can still work, be active and do all the things you love, without being in pain and permanently tired.

The doctors at our Greenville pain center will create a personalized treatment plan after carefully analyzing your medical history and your current health condition.

Do not delay getting help for this degenerative condition – call us today to schedule an initial appointment at: 864-732-1753!