Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the lining of your joints and causes them to become inflamed and painful (mainly in the hands, wrists, feet, and ankles). RA tends to run in families and occurs more often in women than men.
Whether you’ve had arthritis for many years or you’re just beginning to experience symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in Arizona, Dignity Health in Arizona provides comprehensive care and arthritis treatment. Our teams of orthopedic team specializes in helping patients get back to their normal daily activities.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Early on in the disease, the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis develop slowly and are often vague. Your joints may feel stiff in the morning. Other early symptoms are fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, and general muscle achiness.
Joint symptoms generally affect both sides of your body, causing:
- Inflammation and warmth
- Pain and tenderness
- Stiffness and swelling
It is important to get an early diagnosis and start treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as soon as possible to reduce joint damage, joint deformity, and bone loss and to preserve joint function.
Causes of RA
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. That means it occurs when your immune system mistakes healthy tissues as dangerous to the body and attacks them. The following factors can contribute to the development of RA:
- Environment. Environmental influences include infections and smoking.
- Genetics. Certain forms of HLA genes increase your risk of RA.
- Hormones. Women between the ages of 25 and 55 are more likely to develop RA. It’s less common in later years when levels of sex hormone naturally decline.
Diagnosing & Treating Arthritis at Dignity Health
Your doctor at Dignity Health in Arizona uses your medical and health history, a physical exam, X-rays, and blood tests to help diagnose arthritis. We offer advanced diagnostic options for patients with arthritis, as well as a range of effective treatments.
There is no cure for arthritis. However, treatment with lifestyle changes, medications, physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery, can help minimize and delay joint damage.
Call (877) 634-0285 to find out more about our arthritis treatment offered across Arizona. We also offer orthopedic rehabilitation to ensure you can get back to doing the things you love.
Dignity Health provides a range of treatment and care options for patients with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in Arizona.