Rheumatoid arthritis can be described as a continual inflammatory comditon that mainly attacks the smaller joints present in the feet and hands. Unlike some of the other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is known to attack the joint lining, which causes extreme pain and also swelling of the body part. Over a period of time, this condition can cause you to suffer from erosion of the bone and deformity of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to be an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the healthy tissues of your body. Apart from the pain and swelling in the joints, this ailment could also cause you to suffer from fever and fatigue. Though this condition can affect just about anyone, it is a lot more common in women, as compared to men. It generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60.
The most obvious signs of rheumatoid arthritis include pain and swelling in the smaller joints. Given below are some of the other symptoms you may experience because of this condition:
Though rheumatoid arthritis first affects your smaller joints like the wrists, ankles, fingers, feet and so on, as the disease progresses, you may notice the symptoms affecting your neck, jaw, knees, elbows and shoulders. The signs and symptoms may vary in severity and at times, may come and go.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are certain medicines you can take to reduce the pain and inflammation in your joints. Some of the drugs that are prescribed for patients include TNF Alpha Inhibitors, Immuno-suppressants, Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, Steroids and NSAIDS.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also help you learn about ways in which you can protect your joints from further damage. There are many specially designed assistive devices that can also help you in performing your day to day activities in an easier manner.
In case the medication and therapy do not bring about the desired results, your doctor may advise you to go in for surgery, to repair the joints that are damaged. However, there are a few risks that are associated with surgical procedures; therefore, you need to discuss all the benefits and side effects carefully with your doctor, before taking a decision.
Submitted by R J on August 7, 2013 at 01:37