Rheumatoid Arthritis? Find a Doctor Near You
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It appears when the immune system attacks the joints, usually affecting the knees, hands, and ankles.
The symptoms of RA appear in periods called flare-ups. They cease for long periods, but RA gets worse over time. If you have RA, you can improve your quality of life with a rheumatoid arthritis doctor in our pain clinic.
Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that last for six weeks or longer. In severe cases, there is a loss of mobility and deformation.
It’s important you visit your pain doctor as soon as you identify the symptoms. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to treating RA effectively.
Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA vs. OA
Although they have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease, while osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that appears as a result of the wear and tear of the joints.
Without treatment, severity increases, producing bone loss and deformation of the joints. Imaging tests can show if there’s bone damage or not.
RA doesn’t have a cure, but early treatment eases the pain, controls the symptoms, and reduces complications. Regenerative medicine is an effective alternative.
Treating RA With Regenerative Medicine
Stem cells can transform into any cell in the body and can be used to repair damaged tissue. Regenerative medicine uses stem cells to ease joint pain, reduce inflammation, and increase mobility. Because of its proven effectiveness, our pain specialists often recommend it for rheumatoid arthritis.
However, treatments depend on an accurate diagnosis. That’s why you should talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.
Important Facts About Regenerative Medicine
Minimally Invasive Procedure
Stem cells can be delivered through minimally invasive surgery or using injections directly into the joint.
Relief from symptoms
Stem cells mimic your body’s ability to heal, reducing inflammation and stimulating regeneration. This therapy replaces diseased cells.
This treatment considerably reduces pain and inflammation. Although it is not a standard practice, it’s highly effective and safe.
FAQ About RA And Regenerative Medicine
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation all over the body, especially in the joints.
People with a healthy immune system can fight invaders, like bacteria and viruses. An autoimmune disease appears when the immune system wrongly identifies your own cells as invaders and produces chemicals that damage them.
In the case of RA, these cells attack the tissues that protect the joints and allow them to move. The inflamed tissue makes the joints feel painful, tender, and hard to move.
The inflammation produced by Rheumatoid Arthritis can also affect other tissues, like the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and skin.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Initially, people with RA may not feel any swelling, but they may notice joint tenderness and pain.
Usually, RA symptoms affect several joints, especially the small ones (like the ones in the hands and feet). They also experience these symptoms symmetrically (on both sides of the body).
Many patients with RA can get very tired and some may develop fevers. They may experience RA symptoms intermittently. These appear in flares, which can last for several days.
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from osteoarthritis?
Although they share similar symptoms, these are two very different diseases.
What makes rheumatoid arthritis stand out from other types of arthritis is that it’s symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body.
Osteoarthritis, for example, may affect only one side of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is also an autoimmune disease, while osteoarthritis is degenerative.
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
Treatment of RA effectively starts with an accurate diagnosis. A specialized pain doctor can diagnose the patient properly based on the patient's medical history, physical examination, imaging tests, and/or lab test results.
A proper diagnosis is essential to determine the best treatment plan for each patient.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a new branch of medicine. It is the process of engineering, replacing, and/or regenerating cells that disease, trauma, or other problems have damaged.
This approach includes the use of stem cells and PRP injections to restore their normal functioning. Additionally, it seeks to develop permanent solutions for damaged organs. Using this approach, it will be possible to treat diseases and injuries that were previously untreatable.
In our pain treatment clinics, we use regenerative medicine therapies to effectively treat several conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus arthritis.
What are stem cells and what is their function in regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is one of the most effective rheumatoid arthritis treatments.
Stem cells have the potential to develop into different types of cells. Regenerative medicine transforms them into other cells, such as joint cells, muscle cells, and cartilage cells. This way, we promote healing and the growth of healthier tissues.
How does regenerative medicine help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?
Regenerative medicine integrates therapies that boost the body's ability to heal.
In our center, our rheumatoid arthritis doctors often recommend regenerative medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other similar conditions. By regenerating the affected tissues, we can effectively alleviate your RA symptoms and improve your quality of life.
How does regenerative medicine help ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?
Regenerative medicine integrates therapies that boost the body's ability to heal.
Rheumatoid arthritis produces inflammation between joints. The result is a loss of cartilage. As it wears away, nearby bones and joints can be damaged.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) can turn into cartilage and bone cells.
Regenerative therapy comprises injecting these cells directly into the tissues that cover the damaged joints.
In our center, our rheumatoid arthritis doctors often recommend regenerative medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other similar conditions. By regenerating the affected tissues, we can effectively ease your RA symptoms and improve your quality of life.
How effective is regenerative medicine for alleviating rheumatoid arthritis?
Several studies have proved the effectiveness of regenerative medicine.
Some of them found they are effective 80% of the time and can provide up to 8 months of symptom relief. While regenerative medicine doesn’t eliminate the condition entirely, its symptoms can decrease significantly.
In other research studies, they have shown stem cells inhibit the immune system and decrease inflammatory responses. That’s why regenerative medicine is one of our number one options to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Unlike oral medication, regenerative medicine doesn’t involve the risk of creating unintended dependency. It’s a natural approach to alleviate arthritis symptoms, reducing inflammation and helping ease the pain.
How does the doctor collect the stem cells?
Our pain doctors perform a procedure called bone marrow aspiration. It consists of taking bone marrow using a needle, usually from the patient’s pelvic bone.
What happens during the procedure?
The aspiration usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. About 30 minutes later, our pain doctor administers the stem cell injection in the affected areas.
Why is regenerative medicine a suitable alternative for patients with RA?
Regenerative medicine is one of the best treatments for rheumatoid arthritis because of its natural properties.
Typical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include physical therapy, strict diets, and lifestyle changes. They also involve the use of pain medications.
Regenerative medicine is a natural approach that doesn't cause dependency and is highly effective. That's why our rheumatoid arthritis doctors recommend this type of therapy, especially when traditional approaches haven't been successful.
Can stem cell therapy cure rheumatoid arthritis?
Stem cell therapy has shown promising results, but we cannot regard it as a "cure" for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
However, mesenchymal stem cells can significantly reduce inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and stabilize their immune system.
Who can have regenerative therapy for arthritis?
As an emerging branch of medicine, regenerative therapies for arthritis have no professional medical guidelines about who can and cannot receive them. Patients and doctors are the ones to decide whether or not to use them.
However, researchers have found that this type of therapy can be beneficial to people suffering from severe arthritis. Studies show that younger patients with relatively mild osteoarthritis or cartilage damage benefit the most.
What other pain conditions can be treated using regenerative medicine?
Is regenerative medicine safe?
The use of stem cells in regenerative therapies is considered safe since the cells are obtained from the patient, minimizing adverse reactions. Temporary swelling and pain are the most common side effects.
However, there are some serious health complications associated with it. Some of them are infection, worsening of rheumatoid arthritis, cancerous growths, and others.
Making sure that qualified health professionals administer this procedure prevents these complications. If you are looking to get a regenerative medicine treatment for arthritis, our board-certified pain doctors can help you.
What other treatments are there for RA?
There are different ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The best treatment for you depends on several factors, like the stage of the disease, your medical history, and others.
At Premier Pain Clinics, we often combine several approaches to provide our patients with effective and lasting pain relief.
Some treatments are:
- Lifestyle changes: regular exercise, use of wrist and knee braces.
- Physical therapy
- Pain medications
- Joint replacement surgery