When a person suffers from any type of arthritis, it means that they have inflammation in their joints. This kind of joint inflammation is usually shown up by redness, swelling, warmth, and pain in the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is specifically a type of arthritis that occurs in joints on boths sides of a person’s body. This relates to joints such as the hands, wrists, or knees. The “symmetry” of this arthritis seperates it from other kinds of the condition. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also effect the eyes, lungs, blood, nerves, and/or heart.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that involves the immune system. It is an autoimmune disorder that is effecting up to 1% of the United States population. The condition effects women more than it does men, as they are effected two to three times more.
Most conditions of rheumatoid arthritis occur during a person’s middle age. There are occasional cases where young people or old people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, but that is not common.
Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
The signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis can be wide ranging, but here are some of the specific symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
– Joint pain.
– Swelling of the joints.
– Stiffness in joints, particularly after long periods of sitting/lying down and in the morning.
– Constant fatigue.
Some other symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
The development of Rheumatoid Arthritis is different depending on who suffers from the condition. Many people develop joint pain and other symptoms gradually over the years. On the other hand, some people may get symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis very quickly. Within a few weeks they may find themselves in a tremendous amount of pain.
When a doctor looks to diagnose this condition, they will look to see where joint pain is occuring and whether there is a symmety to that pain. If there is joint stiffness in the morning, that presents a greater likelihood of rheumatoid arthritis.
X-rays may also be conducted to see whether the condition is present. A final symptom comes in the form of bumps and nodules under the skin. These are known as rheumatoid nodules. There are also blood tests that can help to determine whether rheumatoid arthritis is present in the body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment:
The treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis is wide ranging and really depends on your body and to what extent you are suffering from the condition. There is no one set treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis that is guaranteed to work. Here are a look at some of the top Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments.
Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are extremely popular rheumatoid arthritis treatments. These are drugs that will help reduce the pain the condition causes as well as fighting the joint inflammation. However, they cannot slow down the progression of the condition. Think of them as the Advil or Asprin of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Disease-Modifying Antirhematic Drugs (DMARDs) will stop or slow down the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis. They do this by deceasing the overall effectiveness of a person’s immune system. This ensures that the body stops attacking joints and other parts. However, one side effect from these drugs is that a person can suffer from illness at a greater likelihood.
Steroids are also effective in fighting against Rheumatoid Arthritis. They help fight inflammation and they can also help with very severe cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The only issue with steroids is they come with a lot of side effects, so should only be used as a last resort.
In extreme cases where joint pain and inflammation are very severe and where drugs are not making any difference, joint replacement surgery is one route to success. This is a difficult procedure and is most commonly done for the knees and/or hips. This is a treatment of rheumatoid arthritis that may not work well on a person’s ankles, as they do not respond well to replacement surgery.
Exercising and physical therapy are key tools in rheumatoid arthritis treatment. It is important to adjust exercise patterns and styles if they are causing joint paint. In addition, keeping active and keeping stretched, by doing yoga, are crucial elements to keeping joint pain at bay in the future.
All of these are a type of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, so be sure to consult your doctor carefully before going down a particular path.