Quick Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Facts
If you have been diagnosed with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you are not alone. Approximately 1.5 million adult Americans have RA. Learn about the role of inflammation and RA joint damage, and the impact of RA.
RA IS AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
The immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, specifically the synovium. As a result, inflammation occurs, which can lead to pain and swelling in the joints. Most of the time, natural inflammatory processes help to clear out infections and help to heal wounds and other damage to the body. When the inflammation continues without having an infection or injury, it can become part of a disease process and, in some cases, can lead to joint damage.
THE EFFECTS OF RA CAN START EARLY
For some people, destruction to your joints can begin as early as 3 months after the onset of RA symptoms, with most people developing joint damage within 2 years. However, there are treatment options available that may help stop further joint damage.
RA IS PROGRESSIVE
RA symptoms and joint damage are likely to worsen over time (even on good days when your RA pain feels mild) if left untreated or undertreated. That makes it important to work with your doctor to continually track your RA symptoms and discuss treatment options.
LOSS OF PHYSICAL FUNCTION MAY OCCUR
Studies have shown that difficulty completing common daily activities such as getting in and out of bed, or walking, can be caused by the inflammation and ongoing joint damage associated with moderate to severe RA.
MODERATE TO SEVERE RA CAN BE TREATED
With the effectiveness of today’s therapies, some experts believe that the goal of an RA treatment should be to maintain a lower level of disease activity by reducing RA symptoms and further damage to joints, and improving a person’s ability to complete common daily tasks. See how XELJANZ performed in clinical trials to help meet these kinds of treatment goals.
Understanding Joint Damage
These images of potential disease progression are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be fully anatomically accurate.