Arthritis & Rheumatic
Arthritis & Rheumatic Conditions
Some arthritis and rheumatic conditions are termed “systemic autoimmune diseases” caused by a malfunction of the immune system. The immune system’s normal function is to protect the body against infection by attacking invading organisms such as bacteria or viruses. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system gets “confused” and mounts an attack against the body’s own tissues which may cause red, swollen joints or inflamed connective tissues such as cartilage, synovial tissue, and tendons. In some cases, inflammation can damage the body’s internal organs such as the skin, kidneys, lungs, liver and even the brain.
Rheumatologists receive 2-3 years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. The earlier you are diagnosed and treated, the earlier you can reduce your chance for pain and disability and live an active and healthy life.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Psoriatic arthritis can affect the joints, tendons and spine and can cause characteristic nail lesions as well. People with psoriatic arthritis may also develop inflammation in the eyes and have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A significant percent of patients can develop destructive and disabling disease leading to loss of function and lower quality of life. Fortunately, newer treatment options are available to help reduce arthritis activity and even place the arthritis into remission.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
This is in contrast with mechanical forms of back pain such as degenerative arthritis that is often worse with activity and better with rest. Along with spine involvement, AS may also cause inflammation in tendons and joints, especially the hips, knees, and shoulders. In addition, patients may have other organ involvement including eye inflammation, lung involvement, heart problems and rarely kidney disease.