Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Most Common Auto-Immune Arthritis

By Christopher Gaffney, Ph.D.  

Where can you find most advanced Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment in New Jersey?

Look to Arthritis, Rheumatic & Back Disease Associates—offering patients decades of experience and clinical knowledge in the diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (often called, “RA”). Although it is the most common form of auto-immune arthritis, RA symptoms can be tough to take. When RA strikes, the effects on the body can be devastating. It causes joints throughout the body to swell, stiffen, and ache with pain. RA can attack any joint in the body — in the fingers, wrists, elbows, hips, ankles, and feet — and it can strike several joints at the same time, including those in the neck.  

What Causes RA?

RA is a type of autoimmune arthritis where the immune system, designed to attack invaders or infections—attacks itself. In the case of RA, the body’s autoimmune response causes inflammation in the tissues which line the joints, as well as inflammation in various organs. Recent research has shown that people who quit smoking can delay (or even prevent) the most severe form of rheumatoid arthritis.[1]

What are Common RA Symptoms?

RA symptoms affect individuals in different ways, ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include painful, swollen, and stiff joints—often most pronounced upon waking in the morning. Feeling fatigued, under the weather, and feverish are other common complaints.

How is a Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis Made?

Rheumatologists are medical doctors who are trained to make the diagnosis of RA and other musculoskeletal and other autoimmune diseases. It’s important to note that no single test can definitively diagnose RA. So, your ARBDA rheumatoid arthritis specialist will take a thorough medical history and physical examination. A typical work-up for autoimmune disease can include laboratory tests, imaging studies (like an X-Ray, Ultrasound, or MRI), and other measures. The goal of such a thorough work-up is to tailor a treatment plan which reduces the pain you may be feeling, including symptoms in the wrist and in your fingers and get you back to doing what you love most – as quickly as possible.  

What are options for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

Because each person’s RA presents with a unique set of symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis treatment options are highly individualized. Targeted therapies are often the first line of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers and joints throughout the body, along with injections, oral medicines, and infusions. Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Additionally, a healthy diet, physical therapy, and exercise are also part of a comprehensive care plan to manage RA.

Getting RA under control is an ongoing process between a patient and a trusted rheumatologist. Great strides have been made in rheumatoid arthritis treatments and joint damage prevention making everyday life more enjoyable, active, and pain-free.

What is the Prognosis?

In the 1990s – the long-term prognosis for patients suffering from severe RA was somewhat bleak. However, in the past 20 years, incredible strides in treatment have ushered in a revolution in RA treatment. Targeted biological therapies have paved the way for many patients to achieve disease remission. Early and sustained treatment in RA has enabled patients to have longer, healthier lives with minimal disease progression.  

Many Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments & Diagnostic Skill at ARBDA

Arthritis, Rheumatic & Back Disease Associates has multiple rheumatoid arthritis centers throughout Southern New Jersey, providing advanced and effective treatments for hundreds of patients each year. ARBDA’s team of experienced and compassionate rheumatoid specialists and trained medical support staff provide a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis efficiently and non-invasively, using its vast clinical knowledge and the latest technology, including ultrasound. ARBDA is proud to be a top rheumatoid arthritis center for our patients. We provide the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers and symptoms in the wrists, and other joints in the body. In addition to effective rheumatoid arthritis treatments administered by RA specialists, ARBDA has psoriatic arthritis specialistsdoctors who can treat tendinitis, as well as physicians highly experienced in polymyalgia rheumatica treatments and medical treatments for osteoporosis. All really good news for patients throughout New Jersey.