Living Well with Rheumatoid Arthritis

For the past six months, your hands and feet have ached and ached. Now your wrists hurt. Could this be rheumatoid arthritis? In Naples, FL, Dr. Jeffrey Alper and Dr. Alain Alvarez are your board-certified rheumatologists, and they can tell you for sure what the source of your problem is. If you do have RA, they'll help you live with this manageable disease.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Also called RA, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Characterized by aching, tender, and warm joints, and eventually, joint deformity, RA targets more women than men and those who are middle-aged or older.

Besides pain, RA is marked by fever, fatigue, and weight loss, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Inflammation spreads throughout the body and may damage the skin and eyes. Accordingly, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers need to get ahead of their disease.

Early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment work wonders. Dr. Alper and Dr. Alvarez help patients avoid tendon repair, joint fusion, and joint replacement surgeries that some arthritis patients need.

At the Naples office, you'll be evaluated for rheumatoid with a simple physical exam, digital imaging and special blood tests. Your doctor will work with you to control RA flare-ups and to help you develop healthy lifestyle habits that can suppress inflammation. In short, you can function well and feel better with their support.

Common recommendations for rheumatoid arthritis

Dr. Alper and Dr. Alvarez often advise many of the following interventions to manage RA:

  1. Exercise (walking and swimming are effective and gentle on joints)
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight (this goes hand-in-hand with a nutritious diet)
  3. Smoking cessation
  4. Stress reduction through relaxation techniques and massage therapy
  5. Heat for stiff muscles and cold for painful joints
  6. Topical pain control gels, creams, and patches

Additionally, many RA patients benefit from over the counter ibuprofen, DRARDS (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), and biologic response modifiers. Fortunately, Dr. Alper's and Dr. Alvarez's expertise is cutting edge. They have keen insights garnered from years of arthritis research.

Take charge

Rheumatoid arthritis does not have to define you. Manage your symptoms with the help of Naples' own board-certified rheumatologists, Dr. Jeffrey Alper and Dr. Alain Alvarez. Call the main office in Naples for a consultation: (239) 262-6550.