Video Q & A:

RA Progression

Question:

Do the symptoms of RA worsen or spread over time?

Expert:   Kenya Beard , ACNP-BC, Hunter College »

Rheumatoid arthritis has the potential to completely sideline you because it's a degenerative condition. But don't lose hope! Watch this video to learn about managing the disease.

Transcript: Early rheumatoid arthritis begins in your fingers and toes. But over time, IF UNTREATED, it WILL likely worsen and SPREAD to other joints such as your knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease WITHOUT a cure. If unchecked, your white blood cells will CONTINUE sending inflammatory molecules to ATTACK your joint tissue. Over time, your cartilage WILL deteriorate. Without the cushion of cartilage, your bones will start to rub against each other, causing MORE pain. Joint deformity can set in. This is why rheumatoid arthritis gets more painful over the years. But, you can avoid MOST of this pain and joint damage if you start treatment EARLY in the course of your disease. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologic response modifiers DE-CELERATE the progress of RA. Learn more about how to ease or even prevent joint damage and pain by checking out other videos in this series. More »

Can't Find an Answer? Send us your question »