Early Symptoms of Arthritis
There are many symptoms that can show long before rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is officially diagnosed. They are things to be in tune with your body about and realize early on. They can save you later on if you catch them early enough and alter lifestyle choices or have them treated.
Fatigue can be somewhat hard to describe. It 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 cause remains hard to pinpoint for patients and doctors alike.
Pain in the joints during physical activity or even when relaxing can be a sign of developing arthritis. 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 another later-stage sign of arthritis developing in the limbs or other joints. If you feel like you are losing range of motion rapidly or gradually over time, you should consult with a doctor to find out for sure whether or not you have a problem.
Most of the treatments performed for arthritis are aimed at relieving pain and improving joint function. The first treatment you try isn’t always right. Sometimes we need to 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 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 kinds of 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.