Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptoms and Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is other major form of arthritis. (RA) causes inflammation in the lining of the joints and joint deformity. In some cases RA may affect not only the joints, but also internal organs of our body. The lungs, heart, and blood vessels can be affected. The cause of RA is still unknown. Although it is thought to be connected with genetics and with some incident that triggers an atypical immune response.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is a localized condition, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that may affect the whole body. Fatigue is a common symptom of the disease. You have to know that anyone can get RA, including children. The disease is more likely to appear in middle age or later. There are three times as many women as men with rheumatoid arthritis.

The severity of rheumatoid arthritis varies widely. It can be minor pain and inflammation in the joints, to life-threatening complications which are involving the internal organs. Individuals with RA can also experience variations in disease activity. Over short periods of time the disease is quiet and times when it flares up. People with RA may also experience extended periods of remission, during which the symptoms of the disease disappear.

Rheumatoid arthritis demands expert diagnosis by a physician specialist. Proper treatment includes anti-rheumatic or anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-rheumatic drugs influence the course of the disease, while anti-inflammatory drugs are most oftenly used to control the symptoms of RA.

Some extreme cases surgery may be required. Physical therapists are often working as part of multidisciplinary team of health care professionals. They play a major role in the treatment of RA, both in post-surgical rehabilitation and as part of a long-term program designed to help manage pain and increase flexibility, strength, and mobility.

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Osteoarthritis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and mechanical irregularities in the affected joint. The inflammation is not directly caused by OA, but it is not strange that arthritic joints swell. This is due to erosion of the joint tissue. OA may also create bone enlargements around the joints. This is often seen in people with arthritic hands.

For some people, OA is a little annoying. But for other, the disease is a serious, even disabling condition. OA can occur in any joint. It usually affects one or more of these areas: the hand, shoulder, neck, lower back, hip, and knee. The likelihood of OA increases as we grow older. It is estimated that nearly 75% of people over age of sixty will experience OA.

However, it’s important to say that osteoarthritis is not an inevitable part of the aging process. Remember that young people can also get OA. A normal joint cartilage is smooth, shiny, and wet. In a healthy joint, the cartilage-covered surfaces move against each other fluently with very little friction. Cartilage normally absorbs nutrients and fluid like a sponge, and this keeps your joints healthy and smooth.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage does not get the nutrients and fluid it requires. With the time the cartilage dries out and develops cracks. Instead of moving smoothly like glass on glass, the roughened cartilage starts to move like sandpaper against sandpaper. There are extreme cases of cartilage loss, where it can actually be bone-on-bone contact within the joint.

In people over sixty five, osteoarthritis is the most common reason for limiting physical activity. This statistic is alarming the health care professionals. This is because the poor physical activity is implicated in a host of serious physical problems, from muscle and bone degeneration to heart disease. The quality of life suffers, too. By limiting mobility and functioning, OA can contribute to isolation and depression. As we said, osteoarthritis is not always associated with aging. Injury or abrupt impact can trigger the disease as well. Falls, car accidents, and sports injuries are often implicated in the onset of OA.

Traumatic osteoarthritis is a process that first causes degeneration of the cartilage and articular cartilage. Because the cartilage is no longer able to absorb shock, the joint is likely to become painful and feel stiff.

Extreme cases of OA may require a surgery. People with OA can directly influence the course of the disease through physical therapy and a regular program of exercises. A positive mental attitude can also work wonders in helping you maintain a degree of control over the disease.

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What Is Arthritis

Almost all of us know someone who has been affected by arthritis or a related condition. Arthritis is so common that we sometimes underestimate its seriousness as a threat to the public health and even our selfs. Researches in the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that arthritis is the main cause of disability in people fifteen years of age and older. Nearly 40 million Americans have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, but it most often comes when we get older.

The word arthritis literally means “joint inflammation”. There are more than hundred types of arthritis. The most common type is Osteoarthritis or OA. It is a degenerative disease of the cartilage and bone that results in stiffness and pain in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a systemic disease. This type of arthritis is far less common than osteoarthritis but potentially much more serious and more painful. The exact causes of RA are still unknown. Both OA and RA are chronic conditions. There is no cure for arthritis.

The good news is that there are many ways to manage and treat arthritis and related conditions. In addition, there are many things you can do ,or not to do, to make living with arthritis easier and less painful.