What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Arthritis means an inflammation in the joint. This inflammation causes swelling, pain, redness and warmth in the area.
What sets Rheumatoid arthritis apart from other types of arthritis is where it occurs. Rheumatoid arthritis will appear in joints on both sides of the body, such as wrists, knees or hands. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your skin, eyes, nerves, lungs, heart, or blood.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis
The following are symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis:
- Joint Pain
- Swelling in joints
- Stiffness, most often in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a long time
Every person who suffers from Rheumatoid arthritis experiences it differently. Some people experience the onset of joint problems very quickly, for others, it will be gradual. And others will experience the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis for a while, and then go into remission and have no symptoms at all.
Who gets Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t discriminate – anyone can get it. Currently, in America, approximately 1 percent of people suffer from it. While it is two to three times more common in women, men tend to suffer from more severe symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis generally starts in middle age, but it can also affect children and the elderly.
What are the causes?
The exact cause is unknown. There is a trigger for the immune system to attack the joints and sometimes the other organs. According to some experts, it may be a virus or bacteria that affect the immune system. Some experts believe that smoking may lead to Rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis
Each person experiences and responds to Rheumatoid arthritis differently, therefore each treatment plan is slightly different. It will always center around medication, rest, and exercise. In some cases, surgery will be performed to correct the joint damage.
When the joint inflammation isn’t too bad, exercise will help keep the joints flexible and strengthen the muscles around them. When the pain flares up, rest is important.