Rheumatology Clinic of DFW, PLLC
Rosy Rajbhandary, MD
Board Certified Rheumatologist located in Burleson, TX
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint but is often particularly worse in the hands and feet. If you're suffering from this disabling form of inflammatory arthritis, double board-certified rheumatologist Rosy Rajbhandary, MD, provides expert treatment at Rheumatology Clinic of DFW, PLLC, in Burleson, Texas. Dr. Rajbhandary uses the most advanced, up-to-date methods of treating rheumatoid arthritis, including disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologics. For relief from painful rheumatoid arthritis, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a joint condition that causes worsening pain and loss of function. It can affect you at any age, although most patients get it in their 30s and 40s. More women develop rheumatoid arthritis than men.
In addition to chronic joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis can cause:
- Stiffness and swelling in the joints
- Joint contortion
- Reduced mobility
- Chronic fatigue
- Low fevers
- Loss of appetite
- Dry eyes and mouth (Sjögren's syndrome)
- Rheumatoid nodules (firm lumps under your skin on the elbows and hands)
Rheumatoid arthritis pain typically involves an intense, deep aching and tenderness in your joints. It goes through phases where it gets worse (known as a flare-up) then eases off a little.
During a flare-up, you might find it impossible to use the affected joints, and many people become increasingly disabled by their condition.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of numerous autoimmune conditions in which your immune system targets normal cells in your tissues after mistaking them for harmful organisms.
With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks your joint linings, causing inflammation that leads to pain and stiffness.
There are numerous kinds of autoimmune disorders, including lupus and psoriatic arthritis.
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
No lab test can detect rheumatoid arthritis, so to diagnose your symptoms, Dr. Rajbhandary:
- Evaluates your symptoms
- Performs a physical exam
- Looks at your medical history
- Draws blood to check for inflammatory markers
- X-rays your joints
One symptom that indicates you have rheumatoid arthritis is joint stiffness that's worse in the mornings, lasts for several hours or more, and improves with exercise. Other arthritic conditions like osteoarthritis tend not to cause such persistent stiffness in the morning.
What treatments are available for rheumatoid arthritis?
Although there's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Rajbhandary offers effective treatments that help you retain your mobility and manage your pain.
First, she shows you how to make modifications to your lifestyle that promote better health and reduce the strain on your joints. Physical therapy can also help to keep you mobile.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help slow down the damage rheumatoid arthritis causes to your joints. These and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce the intensity of your pain, and corticosteroids might be useful for decreasing inflammation.
If your rheumatoid arthritis is causing severe symptoms, biologic response modifiers or biologic agents might help. These medications work by blocking the chemical messages your immune system transmits that trigger inflammation and joint damage.
To benefit from Dr. Rajbhandary's expertise in treating rheumatoid arthritis, call Rheumatology Clinic of DFW, PLLC, today or book an appointment online.