Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition causing inflammation of the joint lining with resulting stiffness and joint pain, including the joints of the spine. The adult form of this disease most often is diagnosed in people ages 20 to 50. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis appears in children and is considered a different disease. Women are the most common sufferers, as they are three times more likely to develop arthritis than men. This condition can cause debilitating pain and deformity or disability. Currently rheumatoid arthritis prevention is technically not possible since the cause of the disease is not well understood. Genetic predisposition is believed to be a prime factor in disease manifestation. However, there are treatments to retard the progression of RA. RA patients should educate themselves concerning these treatments to allow the best possible spine health and minimize the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Many of the rheumatoid arthritis treatments are general recommendations for a healthy lifestyle and thus should be followed by everyone. For example, maintaining a proper body weight, eating right, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol intake and excessive stress are all great ways to not only maintain your overall health, but also that of your joints and connective tissues. However, since genes may predispose some to rheumatoid arthritis despite a healthy lifestyle, consultation with a rheumatoid arthritis specialist before development of significant symptom development may improve the likelihood of successful treatment.
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Most often RA can be treated and controlled through a variety of non-surgical methods. Immunosuppressant medications are used commonly by RA patients under the care of a rheumatologist. Additionally, a number of different anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more are useful. In addition, the same prevention advice to lead a healthy lifestyle still holds true when trying to manage this condition. Surgery may be suggested to treat the extensive bone spurring that may accompany this disease. For more information about rheumatoid arthritis in the spine, prevention methods, and minimally invasive surgical treatment of spurring, contact Laser Spine Institute today.