Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

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By definition, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic disorder affecting the lining of the joints which leads to deformed joints and the degrading of bones.  RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your body is mistakingly attacking itself and the joints.  The joints become inflamed and over time this inflammation will begin to break down the bone and tissues surrounding the joint.  It is possible for RA to affect other areas of the body, such as the heart, lungs, and skin.  Women are more three times more likely to develop RA, and it usually begins after 40 years of age.


There are approximately 1.5 million Americans who are suffering with RA.  People who suffer with RA report symptoms of swollen and warm joints, stiffness in the morning that may carry through a few hours, redness around the joints, fevers, weight loss, and bumps under arm skin.  RA starts with the joints in your fingers and toes.  Over time this disorder will spread farther out into the body, affecting hips, ankles, knees, etc.  There may be periods where the symptoms flare up and other periods when there are no symptoms.


It is important to have a physician monitor your symptoms over time because RA increases a person’s risk of developing other problems such as heart and lung problems, carpal tunnel and osteoporosis.  Although there is no cure for RA, a physician can help a patient manage symptoms and reduce inflammation.


If you are looking for a physician in Marietta, Canton, and Carrolton to help diagnose or manage the pain from arthritis, consider giving our office a call at (770) 421-1420, or visit our website at www.lowbackpain.com





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