From The American College of Rheumatology:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. It is caused when the immune system (the body’s defense system) is not working properly. RA causes pain and swelling in the wrist and small joints of the hand and feet.
- Treatments for RA can stop joint pain and swelling. Treatment also prevents joint damage. Early treatment will give better long term results.
- Regular low-impact exercises, such as walking, and exercises can increase muscle strength. This will improve your overall health and lower pressure on your joints.
- Studies show that people who receive early treatment for RA feel better sooner and more often, and are more likely to lead an active life. They also are less likely to have the type of joint damage that leads to joint replacement.
- It is important to get the help of a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is a doctor who treats arthritis and autoimmune disease. There are diseases that can be mistaken for RA. It is important to get the correct diagnosis without unnecessary testing. A rheumatologist will help find a treatment plan that is best for your disease.
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