Rheumatoid Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritis-disease-treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disease which affects 1% of the population.

That means there are at least 3 million people in the United States who have rheumatoid arthritis.

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown but we do know that genetic and environmental factors play a role. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include swollen, painful joints and generalized stiffness especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

Some patients may present with an explosive onset of multiple swollen joints initially, but the more common presentation is a slower onset of flare-ups and modest remissions over many months with a gradual decline in function associated with increasing joint symptoms.  The most common joints involved are the small joints of the hands and feet as well as the wrists, however any joint may be involved.

A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is made by an experienced rheumatologist who listens carefully to your history, performs a detailed physical exam with special interest in your joints, and then also reviews laboratories and x-ray findings including special tests called rheumatoid factors and CCP antibodies. Your rheumatologist will then devise a treatment strategy for you. Emphasis on treating your symptoms of joint pain and swelling as well as preventing deformity and disability is important.

You may require a number of medications to reduce inflammation and prevent joint destruction as part of your treatment plan. Newer therapies over the last fifteen years have changed peoples’ lives with rheumatoid arthritis. Complete remissions are now more common place where in the past these were not. Aggressive early intervention is a key principal of treatment in this day and time.

Methotrexate

Methotrexate has been used for over 30 years as the foundation of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. It can frequently make people feel much better but may not prevent long-term joint destruction. Newer medications called biologics have been used in combination with methotrexate to bring about improvement in symptoms, prevent joint destruction, and keep patients living normal productive lives. Rheumatologists are experts at using these medications and monitoring for potential side effects. The outlook is much brighter for patients with rheumatoid arthritis these days thanks to significant he answered truthfully he is improvements in therapies.

Oct 11, 2017

Live Well: How to Support your Partner after an Arthritis Diagnosis

healthy-living-tips-how-to-support-your-partner-after-arthritis-diagnosis

The best medicine after receiving an arthritis diagnosis can be a strong and healthy relationship’s support. Studies show that arthritis patients in a contented relationship had less pain and psychological disability. So how can you support your companion and keep your partnership strong? Try these tips to help improve a struggling relationship, or further strengthen […]

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Sep 21, 2017

Live Well: 7 Tips That Will Keep you Gardening

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Stress relief, sunshine, a sense of accomplishment, fresh air—these are just some of the many benefits from gardening. Unfortunately, if you suffer from arthritis, your favorite hobby can become your worst enemy. Simply carrying essential tools or moving between beds can be a challenge. Don’t let arthritis pain force you to give up your green […]

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Sep 15, 2017

Introducing Dr. Daniel DeLo

introducing-dr-daniel-delo-carolina-arthritis-physician

Carolina Arthritis is extremely excited to welcome Dr. Daniel DeLo to our team. Dr. DeLo was raised in Morgantown, West Virginia and received his undergraduate and medical degrees from West Virginia University. He’s comfortable treating a wide variety of rheumatology issues, but has a special interest in autoimmune diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic […]

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