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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