Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For many, the chronic joint pain significantly inhibits daily quality of life. Unlike osteoarthritis, which typically affects some joints but not others, rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body.
Individuals with RA may experience joints that are red, hot and swollen. Needless to say, this condition can be quite painful. Other common symptoms include fever, fatigue, and energy loss.
The fact that we don’t know what causes RA is one reason why this autoimmune disease is so complex. Furthermore, there isn’t a standard test for diagnosing RA. Specially trained physicians, known as rheumatologists, must evaluate patients and recommend appropriate tests in order to make a diagnosis.
Why See a Rheumatologist for RA?
RA can be a complex disease, and the symptoms of RA can oftentimes be mistaken for something else. For this reason, it’s recommended that patients who have been diagnosed with RA – or exhibit RA-like symptoms – see a rheumatologist for care.
A rheumatologist may be able to offer an accurate diagnosis while avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures, which may be costly or uncomfortable. Also, a board-certified rheumatologist can recommend appropriate therapies based on extensive knowledge of this autoimmune disease. Many rheumatology providers even specialize in ultrasound-guided injections and other therapies commonly used in treating RA.
Ultrasound-Guided Injections for RA
There are several medications that can be injected directly into joints damaged by RA. Corticosteroids are one commonly injected medication. These injections can be helpful for lubricating the joint and providing relief from inflammation.
The Good News About RA
While rheumatoid arthritis is a serious diagnosis, the good news is that the earlier it’s diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. And earlier treatment may lead to better outcomes in many cases.
Ready to See a Rheumatologist In Nashville?
Are you ready to see a rheumatologist for the specialized care you deserve? Schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist in Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group by calling +1 (615) 964-5823. Not quite ready to schedule? Have questions about insurance, billing, or other aspects of care? Please feel free to contact us!