Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes, Treatments, and Hope for Managing the Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that primarily attacks the synovial lining of your joints. This synovium is a smooth tissue that produces fluid to cushion and lubricate your joints during movement. In RA, the immune system mistakenly identifies the synovium as a foreign invader and launches an attack. This chronic inflammation can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and ultimately joint damage and deformity.
Who Gets Affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA can affect anyone at any age, but it most commonly develops in middle-aged adults, with women being two to three times more likely to experience it than men. Certain genetic factors can increase your susceptibility to RA, and environmental triggers like smoking may also play a role.
Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
While there's no cure for RA, there are effective treatment options available to manage the disease, slow its progression, and minimize joint damage. These include:
  • Medications: Medications like disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can suppress the overactive immune response and slow disease progression.
  • Pain Management: Medications like NSAIDs and corticosteroids can help manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Maintaining joint mobility and strengthening muscles through physical therapy is crucial for managing RA and improving daily function.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough rest, and quitting smoking can significantly improve overall well-being and potentially reduce the impact of RA.
When to Consider Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Surgery is usually considered a last resort for RA after conservative measures fail to provide adequate pain relief or prevent joint damage. Joint replacement surgery can be an option for severely damaged joints, helping restore function and mobility.
Manage Your RA with Expert Care
If you're experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in Pearland, Friendswood, Pasadena, or Clear Lake, Dr. Nilesh Chaudhari, a board-certified hand and foot surgeon, can be a valuable partner in managing your condition. Dr. Chaudhari has extensive experience in treating RA and can help develop a comprehensive treatment plan to control your symptoms, minimize joint damage, and improve your quality of life.
  • Phone: (281) 456-4412 or (832) 583-2273 (BONE)
  • Fax: (281) 205-8356
  • Email: info@handfootortho.com