Imagine being striken with a disease in which your body essentially attacks itself. For millions of individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, this scenario is their everyday reality. Categorized as an autoimmune disease in which individuals suffer swelling and pain in their joints, rheumatoid arthritis is often painful and debilitating.
In most cases, individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis notice persistent pain and stiffness in the joints of their wrists, hands and feet. The pain is often severe, making it difficult for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to perform simple everyday tasks and even walk. Because of the way in which the disease manifests, those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis often have difficulty mobilizing and are often subject to fall injuries.
Not only is rheumatoid arthritis physically taxing on an individual's body, but the adverse mental effects of the disease are often equally as crippling. In fact, a recent study showed depression to be a major problem for the majority of patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Depression is often also cited by patients as being a leading factor in filing for disability benefits.
While there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are several new prescription medications and alternative treatment options that have proven effective in controlling joint swelling and pain. Individuals who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis would be wise to discuss treatment options with a doctor as well as ways to combat depression and reduce the likelihood of suffering a fall injury.
For many with rheumatoid arthritis who are unable to work, social security disability benefits can provide monthly income. Individuals who plan to file for SSD benefits may choose to contact an attorney who can assist in the application process and provide for a favorable outcome.
Source: Times Beacon Record, "Rheumatoid arthritis update," David Dunaief, M.D., June 26, 2013