A diagnosis of rheumatic disease doesn’t have to be scary and confusing; with the right insight and treatment options many patients enjoy high quality of life with rheumatic disease.

What are the Rheumatic Conditions?

Rheumatoid arthritis, also called RA, is an autoimmune, inflammatory disease that affects the joints. While its causes are still unclear, RA happens when the body’s immune system malfunctions and attacks the healthy tissues of the synovium, or lining of joints, by mistake. RA triggers inflammation that quickly flares and causes severe pain and swelling in your joints. Joints can break down and become very difficult to bend or use. RA may affect other organs, too, such as the eyes, lungs, heart or skin.
What are the most common symptoms of RA?

RA’s chief symptom is inflammation of the synovium, or the lining of joints. You may feel severe pain, swelling, stiffness or warmth around your joints, and the skin around the affected joints may look red or swollen. Joints may feel tender and painful to move. Usually, RA affects many joints, as many as five or more, especially the hands, wrists, feet, shoulders, elbows and ankles. You may feel stiffness or pain in a joint after a long period of rest or inactivity. Other symptoms of an RA flare may include fatigue, malaise or a general sick feeling, and fevers.

When Should I See A Rheumatologist?

If you experience the symptoms above, contact your primary care provider for a referral to our office. Don’t wait. The sooner you get diagnosed and begin treatment, the sooner you will begin to feel better.