Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, Florida

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks one’s own joints and the lining of the joints. This results in painful swelling of the joints and eventually leading to bony erosion. This is different from osteoarthritis, which is a wear and tear degenerative arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s own immunomodulating agents, which are cell signaling proteins known as cytokines, provoke an inflammatory response in the body. The normal balance in which inflammation occurs in healthy individuals is disrupted as the body makes an attack on its own tissues, seeing them as foreign substances. This results in a chronic inflammatory response. Eventually joints stiffen and motion is limited, progressing with time and impairing the quality of life.

Rheumatoid arthritis and a number of growing diseases that are recognized for the central role of an inflammatory cytokine called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). These conditions are also seen in psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease, and have now been referred to as TNF related chronic inflammatory disease. Medical research is focusing on blocking the TNF-alpha; however, this is not effective in all individuals. TNF blocker medications such as Adalimumab, Infliximab and Golimumab have resulted from this research. These medications are extremely expensive and require periodic injections. They also have multiple side effects and can exactly exacerbate one’s autoimmune system, making it ineffective.

Another class of pharmaceutical rheumatoid arthritis medications, such as Methotrexate, Cyclosporine and Cytoxan, are also very harsh on the body, with equally great side effects. Some of these medications are also used as chemotherapy agents. Currently, there is no one single, safe medication that effectively alleviates the disruptive nature of rheumatoid arthritis in all patients.

There have been studies on the Asian herb, Andrographis Paniculata, that has shown to favorably modify one’s immune system. The andrographolides inhibit activity of the inflammatory compound known as Nitrous Oxide Synthase and this exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. The andrographolides suppress production of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha and prostaglandine E2 which can diminish the inflammatory response. A study showed that taking 200 mg of andrographolides for 18 weeks resolved rheumatoid-related anemia and lowered the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein to normal. Another study has shown that Curcumin, which is derived from the Indian turmeric, was found to be as effective as the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac, in an unpublished report. The study found the effective dose of Curcumin to be 500 mg twice a day.

Natural remedies may find an increasing role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Alternative Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy, which may be effective in helping to regenerate cartilage and joints ravaged by the rheumatoid arthritis process. Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy are cutting-edge medical procedures that may help reverse or regenerate the destructive process in the rheumatoid afflicted joint.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy captures the healing growth factors that are in a person’s own blood. By injecting the PRP into the area damaged by rheumatoid arthritis, it may help heal the affected area and diminish pain. In addition, there are indications for platelet-rich plasma in healing a variety of conditions, in much the same way that stem cells may help regenerate different types of tissues.

Alternative treatments such as platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy can be employed without disrupting the patient’s ongoing relationship with their rheumatologist.

If you continue to suffer with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and your current treatment plan leaves you feeling hopeless, perhaps a fresh set of experienced eyes can change your outlook. Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life. Contact us for an appointment at 727-462-5582.

Dr. Dennis Lox and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.

All statements, information or opinions provided by this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website or by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.

Regarding platelet-rich plasma or stem cell therapy: Neither statements nor treatments have been evaluated by the FDA. We do not claim that these treatments work for any listed or unlisted condition. Patient testimonials offer only the patient’s impression of how a therapy worked for them – individual results will vary; results are not guaranteed nor warranteed. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.