Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist

Valerius Medical Group & Research Center

Rheumatologists located in Los Alamitos, CA

Rheumatoid arthritis isn’t only painful; when left untreated, it can become disfiguring and debilitating. Don’t let this chronic disease take control of your life. Fight back with the help of Dr. Nathaniel Neal and Dr. Rebekah Neal. Located in Los Alamitos Long Beach, CA, at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center, these rheumatologists use both traditional and innovative techniques to reduce your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and restore function. Schedule your appointment by contacting the office today by telephone or online to learn more.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and potentially debilitating disease. It results in the inflammation of your joints as well as your lungs, eyes, and skin.

It’s the most common autoimmune arthritis and causes joints to become stiff, swollen, and painful. It can cause a range of other symptoms, such as:

  • Eye redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Lung inflammation
  • Chronic cough
  • Nerve and organ damage
  • Skin nodules and bumps

How do you know if you have rheumatoid arthritis?

If you think you may have rheumatoid arthritis, schedule an initial consultation at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah performs a thorough physical examination and reviews your health history.

They may also request blood work to see if there are signs of systemic inflammation, including:

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Rheumatoid factor (RA) antibody
  • Anti-CCP antibody

Depending on your symptoms, they may also order imaging like X-rays or MRIs.

Because no test definitively diagnoses rheumatoid arthritis, your rheumatologist must use a process of elimination, and rule out other conditions to determine an accurate diagnosis.

Is rheumatoid arthritis treatable?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease and isn’t curable, but with proper care, you can treat its symptoms. Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may suggest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain management. They may also prescribe methotrexate, which appears to slow the progression of joint damage.

When these medications aren’t enough, Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may recommend infusion therapy with biologics. These medications target inflammation-causing proteins and have helped millions of people continue to live a normal life after rheumatoid arthritis.

Improving your health can significantly improve your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Because stress can cause flare-ups, learning new coping mechanisms and practicing stress-relieving activities like yoga and tai chi, can reduce both the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah also recommend:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a whole-food diet
  • Using assistive devices

Don’t wait until the pain of rheumatoid arthritis becomes disabling. Seek help now. Contact the team at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center by calling to book your appointment or scheduling it online.