Many people struggle with joint pain and there are many reasons to have joint pain. But if you have had pain for weeks that have become more persistent and is associated with a prolonged morning stiffness and swelling, then it may be time to consider asking your doctor about rheumatoid arthritis.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells which can cause swelling and pain.
The condition primarily affects your joints, often those of the hands, wrists, and feet but eventually any movable joint can be affected.
Why See a Rheumatologist?
Joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis can lead to permanent damage and greatly affect one’s quality of life. Besides joints, rheumatoid arthritis can cause problems in other parts of the body, such as heart, lungs, or eyes. Getting treated early by a rheumatologist can help decrease the risk of further damage the disease can do to your body.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your rheumatologist will perform a thorough history and examination. Based on this information, your doctor may order labs and imaging for further evaluation.
How Is It Treated?
The goals of treatment are to help you regain function, decrease the rate of the disease progression, and improve your quality of life.
There are dozens of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Your rheumatologist will keep your medical history and test results in mind in considering your options. Your doctor will then have a discussion with you regarding the potential risks and benefits of these options and develop a personalized care plan for you.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in Houston and Pearland, TX
If you are looking for evaluation and/or treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and living in or near Houston and Pearland, TX, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Vo, Dr. Haihui Wang, or Dr. Mary Catherine Gibson of Rheumatology Center Of Houston by dialing (713) 640-5477. Televisits are available for those who are not able to come to one of the locations.