Rheumatoid arthritis, likewise known as RA, is an inflammatory disease that attacks the joints, tissues and organs of the body. Inflammation is most commonly reported in the joints of the hands and legs, but inflammation of the lungs, heart and skin are also noted. Only 1% of the world population is considered as having rheumatoid arthritis and the situation is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 50.
During the early stages of the disease process, inflammation of the joints in feet, the hands, and cervical spine are most common. This inflammation can lead to synovitis over time. Synovitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the joints. When the synovial lining deteriorates, the joints can become deformed and loss of function may occur.
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A thorough, daily stretching routine can help combat arthritis and keep your joints healthy and flexible. Planning a modest routine that covers all your joints-not just arthritic ones-will improve your overall health and keep arthritis at bay. Remember to avoid stretching any joints that are currently inflamed, though.
The skin can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis as well. Small nodules may form around the joints, owing to the disease process. These nodules can contain lymphocytes and plasma cells. Other skin conditions that may be combined with rheumatoid arthritis include Sweet’s syndrome, thinning of the skin and skin fragility.
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Inner organs may also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Fibrosis of the lungs, plural effusions in the lungs, renal amyloidosis in the kidneys, artherosclerosis and myocardial infarction are all associated with the disease.
If the criteria listed aren’t met, the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis may be modified to another form of arthritis.
There are no known cures for rheumatoid arthritis, thus the treatments focus on relieving the pain connected with the inflammation of the joints and tissues. Treatment also promotes a reduction in the degradation of the joint tissues in order to slow down the disease process.
The most common medications given for rheumatoid arthritis include cortisone and anti-rheumatic medications. Anti-inflammatory medications may likewise be prescribed to alleviate the pain and deterioration associated with the disease process.
Joint replacement surgery may be required in the later stages of the disease. The knee is the most frequently replaced joint. Replacing the joint doesn’t stop the disease process. However, the new joint offers an improvement on functionality and pain reduction.
Yes, there are alternative solutions to relieve the pain associated with inflammation. Foods rich in omega 3s are known to reduce swelling and thus reduce the pain and joint stiffness common with arthritis. Radon therapy, medicinal marijuana and acupuncture are also usually used.