What do I Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Developing chronic conditions like arthritis can cause you to feel as though your body is failing to do its job. However, learning more rheumatoid arthritisabout this condition and fully understanding its treatment options makes it both bearable and manageable. With help from your doctor, you can overcome your rheumatoid arthritis pain and find the best treatment plan for you. Learn more with Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ.

What is rheumatoid arthritis? 
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which affects the body’s joints and tissues. The body’s immune system begins erroneously attacking the tissues, mainly affecting the joints’ linings. If left untreated, this eventually causes joint deformity. While arthritis generally affects the body’s joints, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause damage to other parts of the body like the eyes, skin, blood vessels, heart, and lungs.

Do I have rheumatoid arthritis? 
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can help you seek treatment early, allowing your doctor to keep the condition under control. Symptoms often affect the joints of the hands and feet first, then progress to the larger joints, such as the wrists, knees, and ankles. You may also notice symptoms which affect other parts of the body such as your eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, nerve tissues, and skin. If you experience the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis continually or they begin affecting your everyday life, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? 
Women over the age of 40 are more likely than younger women or men to develop arthritis. Those who smoke, are obese, or have a family history of the condition are also more at risk for rheumatoid arthritis than others. Since there is no one single test to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosing this condition often begins with a physical examination at your doctor’s office. Imagining techniques like x-rays and MRIs and certain blood testing also help your doctor pinpoint the presence of rheumatoid arthritis and track its progression over time.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments in Haddon Heights, NJ
Treating rheumatoid arthritis begins with medications to reduce swelling and pain. Corticosteroid injections also help reduce pain and help slow the progression of the condition in the joint. Physical and occupational therapy can help strengthen weakened joints and manage your pain. Surgery becomes necessary in more severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information on rheumatoid arthritis, please contact Dr. Mark Fisher at his practice in Camden County, NJ. Call (856) 547-8004 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Fisher today!