Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that results in chronic inflammation of the joints. The condition also causes inflammation of surrounding tissues of the joints or other organs of the body like knee, ankles, wrists, etc. As per one of the studies revealed by current census data of the U.S. “It is believed that approximately 1.3 million people suffer from the disease in United States”.
Main causes and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The main cause of the condition is unknown. It is believed that factors like genes, virus or bacterial infection also contribute towards causing rheumatoid arthritis.
- Loss of appetite
- Morning stiffness
- Redness and swelling around joints
Effective treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although, no cure exists for rheumatoid arthritis, by following several methods one can reduce its symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Some of the most common ways of reducing its affect are assorted below:
Adequate rest on getting physically exhausted- Taking adequate rest after getting physically exhausted aids in treating the condition significantly. It is advised to the patients of rheumatoid arthritis to take frequent breaks (minimum of 15 minutes) while performing exercises, so that they won’t get too tired. Adequate rest is required not only after doing physical exercises, but also while performing household activities.
Eat balanced diet- One of the simplest yet effective treatment is consuming anti-inflammatory diet. Consuming foods that are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, salt and rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates like small cold water fish, foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, fruits, leafy vegetables, etc aids in treating the condition to a great level. Calcium and Vitamin D enriched diet should be taken in high quantity for preventing osteoporosis.
Protecting Joints- Joints can be prevented by adopting joint protection techniques as recommended by specialist. Joint protection techniques like cold and heat treatments, providing support and aligning joints by making use of splints or orthotic devices are recommended by most of the specialist. Reducing pain and improving joint mobility by applying electrical stimulation also assist in treating joints adequately.
Exercise- Exercises play significant role in reducing pain and improving functionality of the joints.Depending upon the condition of patient, individualized exercise programs and other range-of-motion exercises are recommended by physical therapist. Practicing right kind of exercises at regular basis aids in delaying the loss of functioning of joint pains.
Prescribed medications and drugs- DMARDs (disease modifying antirheumatic drugs) drugs like methotrexate, etc are commonly used for treating the condition. Anti-inflammatory and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen etc are also recommended for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Other medications like corticosteroids and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors are also prescribed by professionals. Medications that increase bone formation like Fosamax, Actonel, etc are also recommended by some health professionals. However, it is advised that do not administer any medication without consulting with the professionals.
Summary- Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that leads to chronic joint inflammation. Swelling, redness of the skin, swollen glands, etc are considered as common symptoms of the condition. The disease can be treated effectively by adopting a number of measures like taking medications, rich diet, adequate rest, etc.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: September 05, 2012