Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease of the immune system. It can cause pain and swelling in your joints and make daily activities challenging.
RA can sometimes affect other organs and overall health.
UPMC is here to make sure you get the care you need.
We have a team of experts who diagnose and treat people with RA. We provide ongoing care and access to the latest RA treatments.
Learn more about RA causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Make a Rheumatoid Arthritis Appointment at UPMC
You don't need a referral to see us.
RA Tests and Treatments We Offer at UPMC
Because there are more than 100 types of arthritis, getting the correct diagnosis is crucial. At UPMC, we offer many tools for diagnosing and treating RA.
We'll work with you to create a care plan based on your symptoms, lab results, and imaging tests.
Our goal is to improve your quality of life.
To do this, we will work to:
- Reduce your pain and stiffness.
- Limit lasting damage.
- Slow or halt RA progression.
Tests to help diagnose RA
After talking with you about your health history and symptoms, we may order blood tests.
These will look for:
- Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). These are measures of inflammation.
- Levels of antibodies that might indicate RA.
- How well your organs function.
We may also order imaging tests to look for joint or other organ damage, such as:
RA treatments at UPMC
There are many medications that doctors use to treat RA.
You and your doctor will discuss your treatment, which may include:
- Medicine to reduce pain and swelling. This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Disease-modifying drugs. These medications try to slow RA's progression.
- Biologic agents. This group of drugs tries to slow the course of RA and also helps with inflammation.
- Physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT) for RA. Not all RA treatment involves drugs. PT/OT can help manage symptoms so you can move around better.
Why Choose UPMC?
When it comes to specialty care for RA, you have choices.
When you come to UPMC, you can count on:
- Expertise in RA. Not all RA cases are alike, and it also has links to other rheumatic diseases. That's why it's vital to go somewhere that sees a large volume of people and types of rheumatic issues. Here, you will always see a provider who understands and has expertise in treating your symptoms.
- Access to both proven and new treatments. We offer the most up-to-date therapies for RA, backed by evidence. Since we're a research center, you may also get to take part in a clinical trial for new RA treatments.
- Seamless referrals to other specialists. RA can affect many parts of the body, including your skin, lungs, eyes, heart, and kidneys. We connect you with the experts you need without the guesswork.
- Lifelong care. Through UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we see kids with rheumatic diseases like juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Some of our rheumatologists see both kids and adults, and we make it easy to transition care between hospitals.