Rheumatoid arthritis prevention

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition (when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake), causing inflammation of the joint lining with resulting stiffness and joint pain, including the joints of the spine. The adult form of this disease is most often diagnosed in people ages 20 to 50, and women are three times more likely to develop arthritis than men. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis appears in children and is considered a different disease.

RA can cause debilitating pain and limit mobility. Currently, rheumatoid arthritis prevention is 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 delay the progression of RA. If you experience symptoms of RA, we encourage you to educate yourself concerning these treatments to allow for the best possible spine health and to minimize the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Many 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, consuming excessive alcohol and reducing stress are all great ways to not only maintain your overall health, but also the health of your joints and connective tissues. However, since genes could predispose some individuals to rheumatoid arthritis despite a healthy lifestyle, a consultation with a rheumatoid arthritis specialist before development of significant symptoms may improve the likelihood of successful treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment

Most often, RA can be treated and controlled through a variety of nonsurgical methods. Immunosuppressant medications are used commonly by RA patients under the care of a rheumatologist. Additionally, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications, physical therapy and acupuncture are useful. 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 could accompany this disease. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to treat bone spurs and other spinal conditions. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and are often the clinically appropriate first choice compared to traditional open spine surgery. For more information about rheumatoid arthritis in the spine, prevention methods and minimally invasive surgical treatment of spurring, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI report and determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.