Rheumatoid arthritis is a severe autoimmune disease that is much different from osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that usually occurs as we age. It can strike at any age, and without treatment, you could develop joint damage and painful, crippling malformation. Today we’re sharing information you should be aware of regarding arthritis of the hand in Louisiana.
A devastating disease that can severely damage your joints, Rheumatoid Arthritis also affects other organs and decreases your life expectancy. Newer treatments are very successful at reducing joint pain and damage, and remission is a real possibility. But early treatment is essential to avoid permanent joint damage and disability.
1. Diagnosing 6 Common Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis of the Hand in Louisiana
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether your symptoms are those of Rheumatoid Arthritis or osteoarthritis, so either diagnosis should be confirmed by someone who is an expert in arthritic diseases. Here are six rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms and how they differ from signs of OA.
2. Usually with Rheumatoid Arthritis, one or more of your finger knuckle joints will be swollen.The swelling or inflammation is more likely to be in the middle or large knuckles of your hands, not the knuckles located at the tips of your fingers next to your fingernails. You may also feel warmth and notice redness over the inflamed joint.
3. At least one of your middle or large knuckles has been swollen and painful for more than six weeks. If there’s no clear reason or explanation for this, it could be a sign of Arthritis of the hand in Louisiana. Large joints, such as your ankles, knees, shoulders, or elbows, may also be involved, but you must have swelling and pain in at least two joints to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
4. The balls of your feet are also targets. Often, people with rheumatoid arthritis experience a feeling of “walking on golf balls” or swelling under the foot, especially first thing in the morning when getting out of bed.
5. You may notice bumps on your elbows. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, you may have flu-like symptoms, such as low-grade fevers, stiffness, and fatigue from inflammation. Occasionally, small tender bumps or nodules under the skin will develop, often near the back of the elbow.
6. Your joints are particularly stiff for more than an hour in the morning. With rheumatoid arthritis, you may find it difficult to make a fist. You may have unusually tender swelling on the top of your wrists along with stiffness. If your elbows are involved, it may be difficult for you to straighten them completely.
7. Certain blood tests may help determine whether you have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Four important tests are usually ordered for a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Two measure proteins and the other two measure inflammation.
We now know that some forms of Rheumatoid Arthritis are very aggressive, and much permanent joint damage can occur within the first 12 months. There is no cure at this time, but joint damage can be slowed and sometimes stopped. Understanding the early signs of arthritis is critical to saving your joints from painful damage and disability.
If you feel that you may be suffering from arthritis of the hand in Louisiana, call our office to schedule a consultation. We will discuss your goals and options for living a pain-free life!