Rheumatoid Arthritis


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks joint tissue, causing inflammation of the joint lining. Although RA is a chronic—or persisting—disease, symptoms may come and go unpredictably. That’s because RA symptoms come in flares where there may be periods of increased disease activity and fade or disappear in periods of remission. During a flare, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms: 

  • Painful, swollen, warm joints.
  • Pain and stiffness lasting more than 30 minutes in the morning or after a long rest.
  • Inflammation in the hands (wrists and finger joints), neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, or feet.
  • Symmetrical patterns of inflammation, meaning both sides of the body are impacted at once.
  • Fatigue, occasional fever, and a general feeling of discomfort


How does the Arthritis Center treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The Arthritis Center uses careful diagnoses with the goal of identifying the unique characteristics of each patient's illness.  State-of-the-art treatment and medication are used to control the illness and to prevent long term tissue damage. Dr. Baak works with patients and their primary care physician to optimize patient recovery. 


What is Dr. Baak's experience with the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Dr. Baak has been treating Rheumatoid Arthritis Since 1994 and is Board Certified in Rheumatology. In addition Dr. Baak currently holds the following certifications:

  • American College of Rheumatology Certification in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certification in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) Certification in Clinical Bone Densitometry