Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that disturbs the lining of the joints. This chronic inflammatory disorder can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, deformity, and more, making it a potentially debilitating disease. At Swetech Medical Center, our doctors look at each RA patient’s entire health and well-being, not just their symptoms, and use osteopathic techniques to ease rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is impossible to see the immune system in all its complexity or identify exactly how or why RA begins. Every person who suffers from RA is different, and the condition is not only age-related. RA can worsen with age, but someone in their 30s could be just as likely to receive a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis as someone in their 70s or 80s.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of RA include the following:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Joint swelling or tenderness
- Stiff joints
- Weak joints
- Whole body fatigue
- Skin lumps or redness
- Finger bumps or swelling
- Sensation of pins and needles
Rheumatoid arthritis isn’t hereditary, but certain genetic markers can increase your likelihood of developing this chronic condition. Markers in the genes associated with the immune system and chronic inflammation show a predisposition to RA. Most of the time, it will be impossible for a sufferer to know precisely why they develop this condition.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis
The degenerative joint condition and aches and pains a person may develop in their hands, feet, hips, knees, and spine as they age is the result of normal wear and tear on the body and is known as osteoarthritis. This common condition is impacted by genetic, as well as posture, weight, manual labor, joint injuries, and lack of exercise.
Osteoarthritis is not the same as rheumatoid arthritis which as an autoimmune condition is not segregated to one area and can affect all the body’s joints and cause chronic inflammation. The symptoms of RA tend to be more severe than typical arthritis. X-rays and MRI scans are sometimes needed to confirm an RA diagnosis.
Both types of arthritis, however, can be helped through osteopathic treatment to reduce pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.
Osteopathic Treatment for RA
Doctors of osteopathy are well-rounded physicians who understand all systems of the body intimately, have a broad perspective on health, and look beyond the surface to see everything that’s happening within your body. Osteopathy is a big-picture form of medicine where practitioners work to understand someone’s RA in all its dimensions. For osteopaths, the best way to treat this autoimmune condition requires a broad perspective.
Some of the most effective treatments for RA involve lifestyle changes that help a person live a healthier life. Prioritizing nutrition, exercise, and sleep and maintaining healthy environments and positive relationships absolutely affects a person’s success in overcoming the worst of RA.
RA is a chronic, usually lifelong condition that does not have a cure. It can, however, be treated through physiotherapy and anti-inflammatories or RA-specific medication, both of which can help slow the progression of the disease.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Clinton Township, Michigan
At Swetech Medical Center in Clinton Township, Michigan, we use osteopathic methods to treat autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis both on the surface and within your body. Anyone who suffers from RA must learn how to live with this chronic condition and it is our goal to help you feel like your best self from the inside out. We deliver complete treatment that takes your lifestyle and health history into consideration so you can manage your RA and live a full life.
Contact Swetech Medical Center to schedule an appointment to discuss your rheumatoid arthritis or concerns about your bones and joints.