Rheumatoid Arthritis

WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a kind of arthritis that causes stiffness, pain, swelling and loss of function in the joints. People suffering from this condition may feel tired, sick and sometimes feverish. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis may destroy the joint tissues, making it hard for you to use your hands or walk around. However, there have also been instances where the disease attacks tissue in the eyes, skin, blood vessels and eyes.

HOW IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS CAUSED?

Scientists believe that the interaction of multiple factors, such as hormones, genetics and the environment play a role. While rheumatoid arthritis sometimes runs in families, the actual cause of the disease is yet to be understood. Research indicates that the genetic makeup of a person is an important part of the picture, but there is more to the story. Some evidence suggests that rheumatoid arthritis may also be trigged by infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses. The exact agent(s), however, are still not known

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?

The condition is distinguished by inflammation of the joint lining. This leads to pain, warmth, swelling and redness around the joints. The pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis varies considerably between people – doctors still do not understand the reasons for this completely. However, some common factors that add to the pain include damage that has occurred within the joint, swelling within the joint or the amount of redness or heat felt.

HOW IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?

In its early stages, the disease can be rather difficult to diagnose as the full range of symptoms develop gradually. As a matter of fact, only a number of symptoms may be present in the early stages. Your doctor will look for symptoms like pain, swelling, warmth and limitations in joint motion as part of the diagnosis. They may also ask you about the degree of your pain symptoms, how often they occur, and what makes it worse or better.

HOW IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS TREATED?

Mentioned below are some treatments for rheumatoid arthritis:

Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed for comfort and pain relief. Cortisone shots and NSAID drugs also reduce pain. There are several additional medications prescribed which may be able to alter the course of the disease.

Massage Therapy: Acupuncture, massage and hot/cold therapies as well as chiropractic treatments can also significantly help minimizing the pain.

Physical Therapy: Specially designed exercise regimens can also provide a high degree of pain relief.

Regenerative Medications: Stem cell injections and PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapies have also shown positive results in helping with rheumatoid arthritis pain.