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When you are diagnosed with a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, it can be overwhelming and scary. You worry that you might be forced to give up sports or other activities that you love. You consider what life would be like if you could no longer carry out simple but important tasks such as tying your shoes and buttoning your coat. And you wonder if you’ll ever experience another day without pain.
At Kayal Rheumatology Center, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Our elite team of skilled and experienced specialists will be with you every step of the way. Whether you’re a patient who would benefit from orthobiologics in Westwood, NJ, or one who requires hand and wrist surgery in Paramus, NJ, we will do everything within our power to restore the pain-free, active lifestyle you deserve.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system, which is geared to attack foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks your joints. This results in inflammation. Lining the inside of your joints is tissue called synovium, which produces fluid to lubricate your joints and allows for smooth movement. With rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium thickens, creating pain and swelling in and around your joints. When this inflammation is not treated, your cartilage (the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in your joints) becomes damaged. Even the bones themselves can become damaged. As the condition progresses, you lose cartilage and the spacing of the joints between your bones becomes smaller. The result: pain, lost mobility and unstable joints. In some cases, the joints become deformed.
RA is an autoimmune disease with no cure; joints in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet are most commonly affected. Unfortunately, the damage RA does cannot be repaired, but early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can help keep the condition in check.
Symptoms include: swelling, joint tenderness, stiffness or pain that last six weeks or more, morning stiffness that lasts 30 minutes or more, pain or stiffness in the same joint on both sides of the body, pain or stiffness in more than one type of joint (hand, elbow, wrist, knee, etc.), fatigue, appetite loss and low-grade fevers. Although your symptoms may vary in intensity, a spike in symptoms is called a “flare,” which can last for days—or even months.
At Kayal Rheumatology Center, our team of expert rheumatologists will focus on treatments that stop your inflammation, relieve your pain and other symptoms, prevent joint and organ damage, improve your mobility and limit long-term complications. Early, aggressive treatment is the best strategy against RA. When inflammation is controlled, it helps prevent or limit joint damage.
Some RA drugs are used to relieve pain and inflammation; these are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. Others are designed to slow the progression of the disease. They include corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS), biologics and JAK inhibitors. When you suffer permanent damage, your specialist at Kayal Rheumatology may recommend joint replacement surgery.
There are also steps you can take to reduce painful flares and prevent or reduce long-term complications. These include eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, etc.) to reduce inflammation; avoiding processed and fast foods that trigger inflammation; getting plenty of rest; and exercising. Athletes who need guidance from a sports medicine specialist in Westwood, NJ, and beyond, can find help here, too.
At Kayal Rheumatology Center, our compassionate experts will diagnose, treat and control your pain. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about us, call 844.281.1783 or contact us on the web.