Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist
The joint inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis needs immediate and long-term treatment to prevent progressive joint damage, maintain function, and to stop the inflammation from affecting other parts of your body. Contact the team of physicians at Maiden Lane Medical in Lower Manhattan and Midtown as soon as you experience joint pain or stiffness. Patients throughout New York City rely on our compassionate care and advanced treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in a person’s joints due to an inappropriate response from the immune system. The condition is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system that protects the body from viruses and bacteria attacks healthy tissue in the body the same way it fights off foreign substances. When a patient has rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation can lead to a thickening of the tissue that lines the insides of the joint, causing swelling and pain in and around the joint. If the condition and related inflammation are left untreated, the cartilage and bones can become damaged. Some patients may lose their range of motion and mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis often develops aggressively and can cause permanent damage to the joints. It affects almost 1.5 million people in the United States and is more common in women than men.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is most often found in the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and hands. If rheumatoid arthritis develops in one joint, it will usually also develop symmetrically in the other joint. Common symptoms of the condition include:
- Joint pain
- Tenderness, stiffness, and swelling of joints that lasts for 6 weeks or longer
- Stiffness upon waking that lasts for more than 30 minutes
- Symmetrical pain: Pain occurring in both wrist, or knees, etc.
- More than one joint is affected by swelling and pain
- Early stages may involve joint pain without swelling or redness
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
A variety of treatments are available to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The goal is to:
- Relieve pain
- Prevent joint and organ damage
- Restore physical function
- Reduce the risk of long-term complications
In many cases, prescription medication that provides relief from the symptoms and slows the disease is an integral part of a treatment plan. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids can help to reduce the swelling and related pain. Some of the medications prescribed include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, biologics, and JAK inhibitors to treat and heal the immune system. In some cases, surgery may be considered to repair any serious joint damage caused by the disease. Your doctor at Maiden Lane Medical will discuss potential treatment plans with you to help you make educated and informed decisions about treatment.