Rheumatoid arthritis is a fairly common condition that affects many people. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that involves the immune system attacking the joints of the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthropathy, meaning it involves inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can begin at any age, but most often starts in middle age. Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis have high levels of an antibody called rheumatoid factor. However, several conditions can lead to elevated rheumatoid factor levels, thus not all those who have these elevated rheumatoid factor levels develop rheumatoid arthritis. High rheumatoid factor levels are typically present in autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren's syndrome.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints throughout the body, but typically first starts with the smaller joints in the hands and feet and works its way towards the larger joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other areas of the body including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, and nerves.
Rheumatoid arthritis can vary significantly in severity. In many cases, rheumatoid arthritis can go into remission, where symptoms are not present. Remission of rheumatoid arthritis can be affected by a variety of factors, but stress is a common one for many. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms will often return or increase when stressed.
It is important to be aware of this in cases of severe stress, such as after an auto accident. Physiological stress with healing from injuries, combined with emotional stress dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident can significantly increase symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize this increase in severity, as auto accidents themselves often bring significant symptoms including soreness, discomfort, and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often treated with medication such as NSAIDs, but there are other treatment options as well that help with the pain and inflammation. Hot and cold therapies such as paraffin wax dips can be helpful. Chiropractic massage, mobilization, and manipulation can be very helpful in relieving musculoskeletal aches and pains with arthritis related joint damage. Additional modalities that can be helpful include ultrasound therapy, electromodalities, and low level laser therapy.
Our chiropractic physician will be able to provide treatment for injuries sustained in an auto accident as well as help manage and direct additional care for complications and flare-ups related to rheumatoid arthritis. Contact a chiropractor in our SE Portland or Aloha-Beaverton, OR if you have been injured in an auto accident or are suffering related rheumatoid arthritis complications.