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Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist

Rheumatology of Central Indiana

Rheumatology located in Muncie, IN & Richmond, IN

Affecting 1.3 million Americans, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune arthritis in the United States. Rheumatology of Central Indiana, with offices in Muncie, Richmond, New Castle, Greensburg, Shelbyville, and Marion, Indiana, specializes in diagnosing and treating rheumatoid arthritis. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment plan in place may prevent permanent joint damage. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online to schedule your consultation today.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the lining, or synovium, of your joint capsule, a sac-like sleeve that covers and protects a joint. An autoimmune disorder occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs.

In people with RA, the immune system attacks the joint capsule, causing inflammation and damage. When left untreated, the immune system destroys the capsule, causing joint deformity and disability.

You may be at greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if it runs in your family. The joint condition may develop at any age but usually appears in people ages 30-50.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary. During the early stages, you may only experience joint pain without swelling or redness. Over time, your symptoms worsen.

Other common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Joint swelling and redness
  • Joints that are warm to the touch
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fevers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint stiffness first thing in the morning

Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects small joints first, such as those in the wrist, hands, or feet.

Your RA symptoms may come and go and you may experience flare-ups that last a few days or a few months.

How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?

There’s no single test for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. When you visit Rheumatology of Central Indiana, your provider uses a combination of medical expertise and cutting-edge technology to diagnose the root cause of your joint pain.

During your exam, your rheumatologist asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical history, and family history. They perform a physical exam, paying close attention to the joints responsible for your pain.

If your provider suspects your joint pain is from rheumatoid arthritis, they run blood tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis, including tests to look for antibodies common in people with RA. 

How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

When it comes to RA, Rheumatology of Central Indiana provides patient-focused, results-oriented treatments. With the right combination of medications and therapies, you can put your RA in remission and live a healthy and active life.

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Low-dose corticosteroids
  • Biologic agents

No single treatment works for people with RA and you may need to adjust your plan at least once during your lifetime to keep your symptoms under control.

With advances in treatment options, you can take control of your rheumatoid arthritis. For expert care, call Rheumatology of Central Indiana or book an appointment online today.