Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of arthritis, and it’s also one of the most painful and debilitating. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness as well as compromised mobility in the more than one million American suffering from it. It is very manageable though with the right treatment, and it is a condition that we handle all the time here at Texas Orthopedics.
Here are five interesting facts to know about RA:
1. It can come and go.
Mild cases may show up for only a few months with the disease pretty much disappearing after a while. Others experience flare-ups that consistently wax and wane over a long period of time.
2. The heart is not immune.
Similar to high cholesterol or high blood pressure, RA can also cause stress on your heart. The same inflammation that attacks joints can spread to the heart as well. To keep your ticker in tip-top shape when suffering from RA, adopt a healthy lifestyle through diet and regular exercise.
3. Surgery can be a savior.
Many RA symptoms can be alleviated through modern surgery. Repairing damaged joints and tendons, or replacing them all together, is easier than ever due to new and improved surgical procedures that are minimally invasive with far less recovery times.
4. Easing stress can soothe joints.
Stress and anxiety have been linked to increased RA flare-ups. Relaxing more, both mentally and physical, can help relieve pain and restore motion.
5. Kicking butts can go a long way.
Research reports that nearly 1/3 of those suffering from severe cases of RA are also smokers. Smoking is not a healthy choice for anyone, but for RA patients, kicking the cigarette habit can greatly decrease symptoms.
If you suspect that you are newly suffering from RA, or need help managing your current condition, please contact us for an appointment.