Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and eventual joint damage. While it can affect any joint, RA frequently impacts the wrists and fingers. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in managing the progression and symptoms of the disease. Alliance Orthopedics is dedicated to providing personalized care and treatment options for those living with rheumatoid arthritis. Together, we can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Understanding the underlying causes of RA is essential for both patients and healthcare providers. While the exact cause of RA is unknown, several factors are believed to play a role in its development. However, the following factors do not guarantee the development of rheumatoid arthritis but rather are associated with an increased risk. Some common causes include:
Genetics: Certain genes may make individuals more susceptible to environmental factors that trigger RA.
Environment: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke or specific infections, can increase the risk of developing RA.
Hormones: Hormonal changes, particularly in women during reproductive years, can be associated with the onset or exacerbation of RA.
Obesity: People who are overweight or obese appear to be at a slightly higher risk of developing RA.
Age: While RA can occur at any age, it is more common among adults, usually between the ages of 40 and 60.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The symptoms of RA can vary in intensity and may come and go. Early detection is crucial for effective management and to prevent joint damage. If you notice any of the following symptoms, Alliance Orthopedics can help with diagnosis and treatment. Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
Joint stiffness: Joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity, is a hallmark symptom of RA. This stiffness can last for several hours.
Joint pain and swelling: The joints may feel tender to touch, swollen, and painful due to inflammation caused by RA.
Fatigue: People with RA may experience severe fatigue not relieved by rest.
Fever: Low-grade fever is a common symptom of RA, usually accompanied by other symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
Loss of appetite and weight loss: Inflammation caused by RA can affect the body’s metabolism, leading to loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss.
Rheumatoid Nodules: These are firm lumps that can develop under the skin, typically near joints affected by RA.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treating RA requires a combination of medical intervention and lifestyle adjustments. At Alliance Orthopedics, we provide comprehensive care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Through our state-of-the-art facilities and innovative modalities, we offer the following treatments to help manage RA and improve patients’ quality of life:
Physical Therapy: Exercise and physical therapy can help improve joint function, flexibility, and range of motion. Our team of experienced therapists can help create a personalized exercise plan to meet your specific needs.
Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals with RA manage daily tasks and activities while reducing stress and strain on joints of the upper extremities.
Lifestyle Changes: Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a balanced diet and managing stress levels, can help reduce the symptoms and progression of RA. Our healthcare professionals can provide guidance and support in making these changes.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints affected by RA. Our skilled orthopedic surgeons utilize the latest techniques and technology to perform minimally invasive procedures with excellent outcomes. By combining various treatment options, we aim to help you manage your RA and live a fulfilling life. Contact Alliance Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward managing your rheumatoid arthritis.