24 May Rheumatoid Arthritis isn’t Just for Older Patients
For years, rheumatoid arthritis was thought of as an ailment suffered by older patients, but that’s no longer the case. This relatively common and debilitating type of arthritis has been seen in younger and younger patients, and Integrated Pain Consultants is committed to helping all arthritis patients find a treatment plan that works for them. Today, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is being diagnosed in patients decades younger than in previous generations.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Condition and Treatment
RA is an autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and nearby tissues. It’s most common in the wrist, knees, ankles, feet, and fingers. However, organs can also be impacted including the skin, eyes, and lungs. RA cannot be caused by over-extending the body or joints, although it can certainly be exacerbated by it. It’s not uncommon for a person to be diagnosed after a heavy session of weed-pulling or shoveling snow. However, these activities simply cause the existing RA to be further agitated—they don’t cause arthritis.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms of RA are most commonly joint pain, but can also include stiffness and severe fatigue. In some cases, the joints get so swollen that they become virtually useless. This can be especially troublesome in areas such as the hand, which most people rely on for nimbleness.
Who Gets Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA affects around 1.3 million people in the U.S., and today is most commonly diagnosed in those between 30 and 80 years old. That’s a very wide range, but it’s been diagnosed in those in their teens and twenties more often than ever before in recent years. According to a Mayo Clinic researcher and biostatistician, Cynthia Crowson, the odds of a young adult being diagnosed with RA is more common than experts previously thought. The recent author of a research paper on RA in young people, Crowson says that there’s a one in 714 chance of someone in their 20s being diagnosed with RA.
Arthritic Pain Help – Call Integrated Pain Consultants Today
Although there’s no cure for RA, there are many safe treatment plans that do not include opioid prescriptions. This can include steroid injections, epidural joint injections, and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation. If you suspect you have arthritis, regardless of your age, it’s important to find a doctor who’s aware of the increase in young people being diagnosed with RA. For pain treatment options, contact Integrated Pain Consultants today for a consultation. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.