Early Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are many symptoms that can show long before rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is officially diagnosed. These symptoms may include many physical symptoms. It is important to be in tune with your body and discover these changes early on. Catching these symptoms early on, when combined with lifestyle changes, can save much pain and hassle down the road.
Fatigue is often accompanied by words like “lethargic” and “exhausted.” There are some treatable diseases that lead to fatigue; things like anemia, thyroid diseases, and COPD, but much of the cause remains hard to pinpoint for patients and doctors alike. If you are experiencing fatigue, be conscious and aware of any additional symptoms and speak to your health care team about your concerns. This will help them determine any issues as early as possible.
Pain in the joints during physical activity or even when relaxing can be a sign that arthritis may be developing in that area. Along with pain, you may also experience joint tenderness, swelling, redness, warmth, or stiffness in the joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, this will often happen symmetrically, meaning both sides of the body will be affected equally.
Loss of Range of Motion
Loss of motion in the joints is a later-stage sign of arthritis developing in the limbs or other joints. If you feel like you are losing range of motion, you should consult with a doctor to find out for sure whether or not you have a problem. This loss of range of motion can occur suddenly or gradually over time.
Treatment for Arthritis
Most of the treatments performed for arthritis are aimed at relieving pain and improving joint function. While everyone is different, oftentimes we try multiple treatments before discovering the perfect combination for you.
Different types of arthritis call for different medications. Here are some of the ones we prescribe and use most commonly:
Analgesics are effective for the reduction of pain but will not affect your level of inflammation. Some of the examples of these are Tylenol and some narcotics like Percocet, Oxycontin, and others.
These arthritis treatments come in the form of creams and ointments. They contain various ingredients that, when rubbed over the skin, can inhibit pain signals and reduce the pain you feel from the joints.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These drugs treat pain as well as inflammation. Some examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin. Some NSAIDs are only available when prescribed by your doctor. There are possible side effects of these drugs that are important to consider if you are at risk of heart attack or stroke. They can be taken orally or rubbed over the skin in the form of creams and gels.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
The purpose of a DMARD is to stop the immune system from attacking the joints.
Biologic response modifiers
Usually used in combination with DMARDs, These drugs are genetically engineered and are used to target protein molecules involved in the immune response that is causing your system to attack the joints.
These drugs reduce inflammation and suppress your immune system, which is often the problem in cases of arthritis, as your immune system is attacking the inflamed joints.
Arthritis Treatment in the Atlanta Region
V. K. Puppala, M.D. sees patients at his Villa Rica, Georgia office. Patients from all over the Metro Atlanta area seek his help. Dr. Puppala is genuinely concerned about his patient’s general well-being and is known for treating all his patients with respect and compassion. Dr. Puppala takes a multidisciplinary approach by incorporating a number of minimally invasive interventional methods using practical restoration and effective medication management. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN today to make an appointment.