RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA) OF THE SHOULDER
When a person suffers from arthritis they experience joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. These are all common symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the immune system or autoimmune disease. When a person suffers from rheumatoid arthritis their own immune system attacks their joint tissue. Not only does rheumatoid arthritis cause pain, stiffness and inflammation it also causes cartilage and ligaments to breakdown which can eventually lead to joint instability and loss of function.
This occurs because the immune system, which is the body’s defense mechanism against harmful infection, begins to turn on its own tissue, organs and joints and begins to attack them. If rheumatoid arthritis is not treated the disease will continue attacking the body’s joints eventually causing deformities in the fingers, toes and other joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Warning Signs
There are a few warning signs that will let a person know they may be developing rheumatoid arthritis. These signs include:
- Consistent swelling of fingers or knuckles
- Swollen feet. Especially at the balls of the feet
- Flu-like symptoms
- Bumps on elbows
- Pain in joints
- Stiff joints
If a person begins to experience these signs of rheumatoid arthritis and it begins to become consistent for more than six weeks, please contact Davis Orthopedics. Treating rheumatoid arthritis early is key to getting the disease under control before joint damage becomes worse.
Unfortunately no one knows the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis. However, whatever the cause may be our Prescott Valley, Arizona professional team looks at all factors that may contribute to the disease. A person’s genetics may play a role in developing the disease. Their environment may also play a factor. Age, weight, sex, diet and tobacco use are also factors and can increase a persons risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body and a common area is the shoulders. The disease begins to wear down the cartilage that protects the ball sockets of the shoulder. When this occurs a person will experience pain, inflammation, swelling, stiffness, popping or grinding, and their shoulder range of motion is reduced. Rheumatoid arthritis unfortunately doesn’t affect just one shoulder. When a person has the disease both shoulders are usually affected.
At Davis Orthopedics Prescott Valley office, our goal is to help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and get our patients back to an active pain free life. Some of the treatment options we recommend for our patients include rest, medications, a modification to their daily activities, and physical therapy. If the treatment recommended doesn’t result in reduced symptoms, surgery may be another option. Dr. Mark Davis D.O. will work with each patient’s unique case and will design a care plan that is right for their needs. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulders or anywhere in the body, contact our office today for a consultation.