It starts out with a slight ache in your hand and the feeling of being stiff in the morning. You think nothing of it and carry on with your everyday routine. Over the next few weeks, the slight ache has turned into widespread tenderness and joint pain throughout your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain, stiffness, loss of function, and swelling in the joints. This systematic disease can also affect your organs and cause bone thinning. At Northeast Spine & Sports Medicine, we want to minimize the pain you’re experiencing from your rheumatoid arthritis and help by providing you with custom-tailored treatment plans that can include steroid injections, physical therapy, and acupuncture therapy. All of these procedures are available at our offices in Jackson, NJ, Point Pleasant, Barnegat and Aberdeen. There are a variety of factors that can elevate your risk of getting this disease. A common question we get is “Who is at risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis?”
- People Ages 40-to-60: Although people of all ages can get rheumatoid arthritis, it is common for people between the ages of 40 and 60 to start experiencing symptoms.
- Women: A staggering 75 percent of the people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are women, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Women also experience more severe symptoms of this disease than men.
- Smokers: Smoking increases your risk of developing this form of arthritis and also can make the symptoms worse.
- Obese: Since fat is chemically active and increases inflammation, obese people are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Fat also adds stress to joints and can reduce the benefit of treatment.
- People with a Family History: Similar to many diseases, you may have a genetic disposition for rheumatoid arthritis. If someone in your family has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, you are at greater risk to get it.