Experienced Rheumatologists in Houston TX, Can Help You Live More Comfortably With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system – which normally attacks foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses – to mistakenly attack healthy joint tissue. Most often, rheumatoid arthritis affects the hands, wrists, elbows, hips, knees, ankles and feet. The arthritis is usually symmetrical, which means the same joints on both sides of the body are affected.
The precise causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown. Some experts believe that certain factors, such as stress, tobacco use and infection, may trigger the immune system to inadvertently target the joints.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
When attacked by the immune system, a joint’s soft lining (synovial membrane) can become thickened and inflamed, leading to pain, swelling, warmth, redness and loss of joint function. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can ultimately damage the protective joint cartilage, which normally cushions the ends of the bones in the joint. As the cartilage breaks down and wears away, the unprotected bone surfaces may begin to erode as well, eventually changing the shape and structure of the joint.
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
As the rheumatoid arthritis progresses, once joint damage occurs, it cannot be reversed. Therefore, the main goals of treatment are to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, prevent joint damage, and enhance mobility. Some common strategies include:
- Medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics and steroids
- Physical therapy, which may include stretches, exercises, hot/cold therapy and therapeutic massage
- Occupational therapy, which offers strategies on how to more easily perform daily tasks
- Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles that support damaged joints
- Joint replacement surgery
Early, aggressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is the key to achieving good results. If you have questions or would like to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with a rheumatologist, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Houston, Texas, today.
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1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
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Dr. Blalock did surgery on my broken wrist on Tuesday. I liked him a lot as did my husband. Took time to explain everything in detail even though his phone was ringing non-stop.
I would highly recommend Dr. Cubbage if you are having any type of spinal issues. I have seen Dr. Cubbage several times over the last 3 years for lumbar pain and numbness in my left leg.
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Dr. Patel has been a great Doctor for me. When I was referred to after discussion we decided to do injections in my back.
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Everyone here is so professional and kind. Everything was explained to me so that could understand what had to be done.
Dr. Cubbage & Staff replaced a disc that had been destroyed between my 4th and 5th vertebra. This is my 4th month since the surgery in January of 2018. I was very impressed with their dedication
I just think that this is the best health care facility to this day. I truly appreciate all the PT, so far they are consider it.
I just recovered from my 2nd back surgery by Dr. Mohr. I love the people there so much I just went back and saw a shoulder surgeon Dr. Fehsenfeld for cortisone shots.