According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. That means that 1 in 5 people over the age 18 are experiencing arthritis pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, a common form, is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the joint lining, causing pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion.
If you have pain in your joints that is changing your ability to complete daily activities, you are not alone. At Orthopedic Centers of America, we want to help you find relief for your pain and get back to doing the things you enjoy! Our network of orthopedic specialists has the advanced training and experience to help get you moving. Call 1-888-549-0835 to be helped with a board-certified orthopedic specialist who can develop a customized treatment plan for you. The call is free and one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a result of a misdirected immune system that starts by breaking down the covering around a joint, the synovial membrane. Although rheumatoid arthritis can cause symptoms not affiliated with the joints, patients most commonly experience the following:
- Pain in joints
- Joints may become twisted or deformed
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty completing daily tasks
Risks of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis has several risk factors, some are listed below:
- Family History – your genes can make you more susceptible to the environmental factors that may trigger rheumatoid arthritis.
- Age – The risk of rheumatoid arthritis increases as you age.
- Sex – Women are more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, especially as they age.
- Previous Joint Injury – If you injured a joint in the past, the likelihood of developing arthritis in that joint is very strong.
- Obesity – Excess pounds on the joints, particularly the knees, spine and hips, can cause the body to manifest rheumatoid arthritis in these joints.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
At Orthopedic Centers of America, we want to help you take the next step towards a better quality of life. After evaluating the severity and symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis, our board-certified physicians will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you start on the road to recovery. Our physicians are not involved in prescribing narcotics to mask the pain. Instead, they treat the underlying disease for lasting results.
Call 1-888-549-0835 today to speak with a patient coordinator who can help you find an experienced orthopedic specialist you can trust. You will be glad you made the call!
Non-surgical treatments are available to reduce pain, increase flexibility and slow the progression of the disease. Some of these treatments may include:
- Analgesics – These medicines reduce the pain but do not lower the inflammation that may be present.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Over the counter NSAIDS may reduce your pain and inflammation.
- Counter Irritants – Creams or ointments, such as menthol or capsaicin, interrupt the transmission of pain signals from the joint to the brain.
- Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) – DMARDs were developed to slow or stop the immune system’s attack on the joints.
- Biologic Response Modifiers – Genetically engineered drugs were developed to target the proteins on the surface of cells that are responsible for inflammation, resulting in less pain.
- Corticosteroids – May be taken orally or injected directly into the affected joint to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system’s attack on the joints.
- Physical Therapy – A physical therapist can create and personalize an exercise plan that will include stretching movements to improve flexibility of the joints and strengthen the muscles around the targeted joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
- Regenerative Medicine – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Cell Therapy are two options in which your own regenerative cells are injected into the joint(s) to halt the immune system attack, decrease inflammation and initiate the healing process.
Surgical Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several minimally-invasive surgical treatments used in advanced and more severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis which include joint repair, replacement and/or fusion.
- Joint Repair – a minimally-invasive surgical procedure in which the inside of the joint is smoothed or realigned to lower the pain and increase flexibility.
- Joint Replacement – this procedure is usually a total joint replacement with an artificial joint that may be necessary when other, more conservative treatments do not provide relief.
- Joint fusion – this procedure is used for small joints, such as finger, hand and wrist joints, where the ends of both joint bones are removed and fused together as a single, long bone.
After surgery, a physical therapist will develop a customized treatment plan of exercises to increase your flexibility, range of motion and steps to accomplish daily activities until the surgical site has completely healed. This plan may be continued after the recovery period has passed.