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Where Can You Get Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms In The Spine

Rheumatoid arthritis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine can lead to neck pain, back pain, and/or pain that radiates into the legs or arms. In advanced cases, the joint deterioration in the spine can lead to compression of the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerve roots.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the spine are generally similar to the symptoms of osteoarthritis . The range of symptoms is broad and can include any combination of the following:

  • Pain is the most common symptom, especially pain at the base of the skull as rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints connected to the upper cervical vertebrae
  • Swelling and warmth in one or more joints, may even be described as burning
  • A feeling of local tenderness when the joint of the affected area of the spine is pressed
  • Loss of flexibility of the joint in the affected area of the spine
  • A crunching feeling when the joint is moved , particularly notable in the neck
  • Headaches, related to cervical rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pain that radiates down one or both arms, indicating that a cervical spinal nerve root is affected

Symptoms of bowel or bladder dysfunction or change in the ability to walk or move the arms are serious medical symptoms and immediate medical attention should be sought.

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The Role Of Blood Tests

Blood tests dont provide a simple yes-or-no answer to whether you have RA. But they can help your doctor steer toward a diagnosis. Blood tests narrow down options and suggest how your disease might progress.

After you receive a diagnosis of RA, continued blood tests will monitor the side effects of drugs used in treatment. They can also help track the progression of the disorder.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Caused By Wear And Tear On The Joints

Another common type of arthritis osteoarthritis is caused by joint wear and tear and is associated with ageing. But RA is different and occurs when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.

RA is an autoimmune condition thats a result of the immune system responding inappropriately, explains Mr Munday. The immune system doesnt know when to stop doing its job so mistakenly attacks the synovial membrane around the joints, causing pain and swelling, and can also affect other organs.

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What Happens In A Joint Affected By Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system can cause inflammation inside a joint or a number of joints. Inflammation is normally an important part of how your immune system works. It allows the body to send extra fluid and blood to a part of the body under attack from an infection. For example, if you have a cut that gets infected, the skin around it can become swollen and a different colour.

However, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, this inflammation in the joint is unnecessary and causes problems.

When the inflammation goes down, the capsule around the synovium remains stretched and cant hold the joint in its proper position. This can cause the joint to become unstable and move into unusual positions.

The following can play a part in why someone has rheumatoid arthritis:

Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Can rheumatoid arthritis strike at any age?

Because RA damages joints over time, it causes some disability. It can cause pain and movement problems. You may be less able to do your normal daily activities and tasks. This can also lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.

RA can also affect many nonjoint parts of the body, such as the lungs, heart, skin, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and kidneys. These complications can lead to severe illness and even death.

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What Does It Feel Like

RA pain in your ankles may be difficult to pinpoint at first. Your ankle may hurt in the morning, or at night, but not constantly.

At first, you may notice difficulty in walking uphill, or on ramps or steps. This movement puts more pressure on your ankles.

The pain is different from that of a fracture or strain, and not sharp. But the swelling, warmth, and redness may be similar to those that come from ankle trauma.

As RA progresses, symptoms will intensify and occur more frequently.

Can I Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

You cannot prevent rheumatoid arthritis because the cause of the disease is not known.

Quitting smoking, or never smoking, will reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. You are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis if someone in your close family has it, but unfortunately there is no way to reduce this risk.

People who have rheumatoid arthritis often experience flare ups, which are times when their joints are particularly sore. Learning what triggers your flare ups can help reduce or prevent them.

For some people, stress can trigger a flare up, so can being run down or pushing yourself beyond your limits. Having an infection, missing a dose of your medicine or changing your treatment plan can also cause a flare up.

Keeping a food and activity diary may help work out your personal triggers but keep in mind that sometimes flare ups happen without any obvious cause.

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Potential Ra Medication Complications

Many of the medications that are prescribed to manage RA symptoms work by suppressing inflammation and the immune response. In some cases, immunosuppressants can make vaccines less effective.

If you take immunosuppressive drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, heres what you should know about getting Shingrix:

  • People who are taking low-dose immunosuppressive drugs to treat RA or any other condition should usually get Shingrix.
  • If youre about to start taking an immunosuppressant, its best to get the shingles vaccine a few weeks before your first dose, if possible.
  • If youre taking a moderate or high dose of an immunosuppressive medication to manage RA, talk to your healthcare provider about getting Shingrix. They may decide to delay your next dose of the shingles vaccine.

The C Reactive Protein

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Signs & Symptoms (& Associated Complications)

The CRP also measures the degree of inflammation in the joints. The CRP is a protein produced in the liver when there is inflammation anywhere in the body. Special techniques have to be used to measure the CRP. The more inflammation in the joints, the higher the CRP. The CRP is a more sensitive measure of inflammation than the ESR. This is because, in the normal situation, there is very little if any CRP in the blood.

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Question 4 Of : Treatment

  • 1Get a diagnosis from a doctor if you think you have RA. If you notice that your joints often feel uncomfortable or are swollen, make an appointment to see your doctor. Theyll be able to examine you and run tests to confirm whether or not you have RA. Theyll also be able to come with a treatment plan that works for you if you do have it.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 2The sooner you can start treatment with DMARDs, the better. While there isnt a cure for RA, studies show that your symptoms are much more likely to improve or even go away if you start treatment early. The medications used to treat RA are called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs . They can slow the progression of RA and help prevent long-term damage to your joints and tissues. DMARDs can have some side effects such as liver damage, bone marrow suppression, and severe lung infections, but they can help you manage your RA.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 3You can use NSAIDs to help reduce pain and inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the inflammation around your joints, which can decrease your pain and make it easier for you to move. Some common NSAIDs include ibuprofen , acetaminophen , and naproxen . While they dont actually treat your RA, they can help you manage the pain and swelling it causes.XResearch source
  • Ra Diagnosis: What Criteria Are Used To Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis

    If a patient is showing early signs and symptoms of RA, a doctor can refer the patient to a rheumatologist a physician who specializes in arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. The rheumatologist will work with the patient and the patients primary care physician to reach a RA diagnosis and provide treatment.

    Because there is no exact known cause of RA, doctors look at a number of different factors before reaching a diagnosis. To reach a diagnosis, physicians follow a set procedure looking for multiple criteria, rather than one individual test. This includes examining physical symptoms, looking at family and personal medical history, and performing blood and other diagnostic tests .

    Some cases may be easier to diagnose than others, especially in the early stages of developing symptoms when symptoms may be less clear. Doctors work hard to ensure theyve looked at all possibilities and that their examination and testing results are consistent with most cases of RA.

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    Perseverance When Filing For Disability Benefits

    On average, it takes three to five months to process an application for disability benefits. This delay can cause financial stress for members of myRAteam. One member said, Hoping Im not living in a cardboard box before hearing a favorable decision. Some members heard back sooner. My case only took 23 days for an answer, one myRAteam member shared.

    Most people are not approved the first time they apply. An average of 22 percent of those who applied for disability benefits between 2008 and 2017 were approved on their first attempt. You can still receive benefits even if youre denied the first time. The next step is to appeal the decision. This is a simple process: you apply for reconsideration and your case will be evaluated by someone who did not take part in the first evaluation. Between 2008 and 2017, about 2 percent of those whose applications werent approved the first time were approved during reconsideration.

    There is a second step to appealing, a hearing by an administrative law judge. These judges are trained in disability laws and will hear all the evidence in your disability case. You may have a lawyer represent you at this hearing. A myRAteam member recommended this: Make sure you have an attorney who specializes only in disability. Some law firms even specialize in disability hearings.

    Family & Personal Medical History

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    The patients medical history and family history are important factors in helping to reach a RA diagnosis. Studies have shown that the average risk of someone in the general population developing RA is about 1%. However, if there is a family history of the disease, the risk of another family member developing RA increases.

    When diagnosing RA doctors ask about the following:

    • Patients family members who have or had RA
    • Patients existing or past autoimmune disorders
    • Patients family members with other autoimmune disorders
    • Other medical conditions, illnesses or complications

    Depending on each patients unique set of answers, it can help doctors identify factors that lead to a RA diagnosis.

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    Rheumatoid Nodules: Are Rheumatoid Nodules Dangerous

    A variety of symptoms can occur when suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The sporadic, yet chronic nature of the disease is such that symptoms may come and go over time and manifest in different ways.

    One of the most common skin-based symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is the development of nodules. These rheumatoid nodules occur in about one-quarter of rheumatoid arthritis patients, both men and women and their severity can vary from patient to patient. Although nodules are generally not dangerous or debilitating, there are treatment options available if it becomes necessary to have them reduced or removed.

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    Is It Ra Or Osteoarthritis

    When you first notice foot pain, you may wonder if its osteoarthritis . OA is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, and it is more common than rheumatoid arthritis.

    There is no clear-cut way to tell if you have OA or RA without a medical diagnosis. But OA and RA do have some key differences.

    • Usually affects both feet at once

    • Morning stiffness generally lasts longer than half an hour

    • Most often affects only one foot

    • Stiffness tends to be easier to relieve in the morning, often getting better in less than half an hour or with a few minutes of stretching

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    What Is The Definition Of Disability

    There are several criteria used to determine whether someone is considered disabled enough to be eligible for benefits. The following criteria will be evaluated when you apply for Social Security disability benefits:

    • If you are making at least $1,260 a month, you are mostly likely not eligible for disability benefits.
    • You cannot do the basic tasks most jobs require. These include standing, walking, lifting, sitting, and memory tasks. In addition, you must not have been able to do these tasks for at least 12 months.
    • You have a diagnosed disability. The Social Security Administration provides a list of conditions that are considered so disabling that they prevent working. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the conditions included under the category of inflammatory arthritis. You can still be eligible for benefits even if your specific condition isnt listed.
    • You are unable to do the type of work you did previously.
    • You must be unable to do any other form of sustainable work. Your diagnosis, age, medical history, and education will be examined, as well as any other work history or skills that might be applied to work.

    How Does Social Security Disability View Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    Social Security maintains a list of impairments that can qualify you for disability income, if you meet the impairments requirements. The good news is that rheumatoid arthritis is on that list.

    Social Security understands how debilitating rheumatoid arthritis can be. Its not just about sore joints. Your immune system is attacking your body tissues, potentially damaging numerous organs and systems.

    As with any impairment, you just have to show your particular case of rheumatoid arthritis rules out working.

    These are symptoms Social Security will look for:

    • Difficultly walking because of inflammation in your legs
    • Difficulty performing tasks with your arms because of upper-body inflammation
    • Two or more organs or body systems impacted
    • Serious joint pain
    • Symptoms like fatigue, fever, body weakness, and involuntary weight loss
    • A stiff spine making it hard to move
    • Frequent recurrence of your symptoms

    You dont have to have all these symptoms, but you need to document for Social Security how your particular case of rheumatoid arthritis leaves you unable to work.

    Theres no charge to get Penar Law to evaluate your case.

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    What Types Of Lifestyle Changes Can Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Having a lifelong illness like rheumatoid arthritis may make you feel like you dont have much control over your quality of life. While there are aspects of RA that you cant control, there are things you can do to help you feel the best that you can.

    Such lifestyle changes include:

    Rest

    When your joints are inflamed, the risk of injury to your joints and nearby soft tissue structures is high. This is why you need to rest your inflamed joints. But its still important for you to exercise. Maintaining a good range of motion in your joints and good fitness overall are important in coping with RA.

    Exercise

    Pain and stiffness can slow you down. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis become inactive. But inactivity can lead to a loss of joint motion and loss of muscle strength. These, in turn, decrease joint stability and increase pain and fatigue.

    Regular exercise can help prevent and reverse these effects. You might want to start by seeing a physical or occupational therapist for advice about how to exercise safely. Beneficial workouts include:

    • Range-of-motion exercises to preserve and restore joint motion.
    • Exercises to increase strength.
    • Exercises to increase endurance .

    What Are The Complications Of Ra

    Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.

    • Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
    • Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
    • Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.

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