The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and debilitating. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with RA, there are several important things that you should know about the disease and managing your symptoms.
1. RA Is an Autoimmune Disorder
Unlike osteoarthritis, RA is not caused by age-related joint degeneration. RA is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells, causing painful swelling and inflammation. While the condition can aggravate joint function in particular, it can also affect other systems within the body.
2. Treatment Should Be Managed By a Specialist
Individuals who are coping with RA will need to seek medical care from a rheumatologist, which is a doctor who specializes in treating patients with musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune disorders. If you need to find rheumatology Germantown, find a provider who can help you form a treatment plan to manage your systems. Proactive aggressive treatment of the disease can help you fight its symptoms and prevent joint deterioration.
3. RA Can Cause Joint Damage
RA symptoms are not always continuous and may have a relapsing and remitting quality. Patients may experience flare-ups in which individual joints or systems seem to be under attack. When a joint becomes very inflamed and swollen, it can lead to permanent joint damage. In some instances, the damage may require corrective surgery. It’s helpful to be attentive to medical care and not stop taking medications or getting infusions simply because you’re not currently experiencing severe symptoms. At the first onset of a flare-up, you should communicate with your rheumatologist to target the affected areas with treatment.
Working with an experienced provider will enable you to manage your RA symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and infusion treatments can offer significant relief from the effects of RA and allow you to maintain your quality of life.