There are many different types of arthritis, which vary in their causes and treatment options. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the joints, leading to inflammation, tenderness, and pain that has the potential to be extremely debilitating. RA might also cause the immune system to attack the organs as well, so early diagnosis and treatment is essential for managing ongoing health.
Everyday symptoms with rheumatoid arthritis may be different from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the condition. There may be fairly constant pain or irritation in the smaller joints of the wrists and hands, posing challenges for tasks like cooking or working with certain tools.
During a flare up, patients with RA may have extreme pain and inflammation along with stiffness that can prevent participation in everyday activities. Flares may last only for a day or two or for several weeks, and it may not be possible to effectively manage pain during these periods. Therefore, it is helpful to focus on good habits that may increase the timeframe between arthritis flare ups.
Physical exercise is the best asset for managing arthritis. Individuals who exercise regularly tend to maintain more flexibility and physical freedom thanks to increased muscle strength that minimizes impact on the joints. Your doctor may recommend one of several drugs for RA, which can further reduce symptoms and delay damage to the organs and joints that might otherwise go uncontrolled.
Are you experiencing the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis? If so, you can change your outlook on this disease with orthopedic care at Northside Hospital. To explore our approach to care for patients in St. Petersburg, visit us at our website or call us at (888) 598-9586 to speak with a registered nurse.