Rheumatoid arthritis

Do you think you have Rheumatoid Arthritis? Contact Us Today To Learn About Treatment Options.

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    What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints, causing inflammation, pain, swelling, and eventually leading to joint deformity and erosion.


    Unlike osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear of the joints, RA is related to the body’s immune system and affects the lining of the joints, leading to painful swelling and can also affect other organs in the body.


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    What Causes RA?

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means it occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues.


    While the exact cause of RA is not fully understood, it is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.


    These may include genetic predisposition, infections, and possibly hormonal changes. Smoking and obesity have also been identified as risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing RA.


    You can slow down further damage to your joints and manage pain with regenerative medicine, exercise and lifestyle changes.

    Is RA related to other inflammatory conditions?

    Yes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is related to other inflammatory conditions.

    It is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints, but it can also affect other parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.


    People with RA may be at increased risk for developing other inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and fibromyalgia.


    Additionally, the systemic inflammation associated with RA can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and other conditions.


    Understanding these connections is important for managing overall health and tailoring treatment strategies.

    How is RA treated?

    Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and slowing disease progression, often involving medications, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.


    In conventional treatments you will usually see a lifetime of a combination of treatments such as:


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is treated through a combination of medication, lifestyle adjustments, and sometimes surgery, aiming to reduce inflammation, manage symptoms, and slow the progression of the disease.


    Treatment plans are often personalized and may include:


    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): These drugs can slow the progression of RA and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage. Traditional DMARDs include methotrexate, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, and sulfasalazine.


    • Biologic agents: Also considered a type of DMARD, these are newer, usually more potent drugs that target specific steps in the inflammatory process. They include TNF inhibitors (e.g., etanercept, infliximab) and other biologics targeting different molecules (e.g., abatacept, tocilizumab).


    • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors: A newer class of oral medications that block certain enzymes involved in the immune response, such as tofacitinib, baricitinib, and upadacitinib.


    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Stronger versions are available by prescription.


    • Steroids: Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, can reduce inflammation and pain and slow joint damage. They are often used for short-term relief while waiting for DMARDs to take effect or during a severe disease flare.


    In addition to medication, physical therapy can help improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the joints.


    Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking are also important in managing RA.


    In some cases, when damage to the joints is severe, surgical procedures such as synovectomy, tendon repair, joint fusion, or total joint replacement are considered to restore function or relieve pain.


    Treatment strategies are often adjusted over time based on the effectiveness and any side effects experienced.


    Close monitoring by a rheumatologist is crucial to managing RA effectively.


    Stem Cell Treatments and  Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain?


    The therapeutic uses of stem cells as a potential therapy for various diseases have been immensely explored.


    The number of clinical trials conducted with Stem Cells has increased exponentially over the past few years. (4)


    Stem cells have a unique, intrinsic property that attracts them to inflammation in the body.


    Studies have shown that stem cells can regenerate damaged or diseased tissues.


    Stem cells are also immune-modulatory which means they can stabilize the immune system to mitigate auto-immune conditions.


    SVF or adipose stem cells can repair damage by influencing cellular repair via the “paracrine effect” (cell signaling to influence the behavior of neighboring cells).