Health Care: The Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis
The various forms of arthritis are each painful and debilitating. Although arthritis is often attributed to aging, certain types of it can occur at any age. Since this disease attacks the joints of the body, the agility and mobility of the patient is threatened.
The pain becomes difficult to manage, and, as it progesses, it can have a major impact on quality of life and even extend so far as to cause physical deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the immune system which often targets the hands of the patient. In addition to great pain and inflammation of the joints, those who suffer from this form of arthritis will often experience a deformity of the hands and fingers.
The disease typically affects both hands simultaneously and can cause exquisite pain, swelling and loss of normal function, in addition to severe deformity. In a more generic sense, arthritis simply refers to inflammation of the joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the linings of these joints become inflamed, which causes cartilage to be destroyed when the linings become overgrown, ultimately eroding the joints.
It is this very characteristic that causes the crippling deformities to the fingers and hands. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis comprise only 1% of the population. (Vast numbers of people who suffer from other types of arthritis.)
This disease affects women much more frequently than men. So far, there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, the only recognized treatment at this point, is to manage the pain. Doctors prescribe various remedies which depend upon the patient's medical history, overall profile and other related factors.
One of the most common treatments is oral medications to control the swelling and thereby reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Braces or splints may be prescribed to provide support to weakened joints and to remove the excess pressure. If none of these treatments provide relief, surgery may be performed, especially in the more serious cases.
This will reduce pain and swelling and improve mobility. The three types of surgery commonly used are T synovectomy, osteomoty or joint replacement. There are many steps that can be used to reduce pain and the other consequences of this type of arthritis, when diagnosed early enough. Therefore, even though there is no known cure, if one experiences pain, swelling, or diminished use of the hands, one should contact a doctor immediately.
The sooner a treatment plan is outlined, the better. No-one should have to live with pain, and great strides have been made in the area of pain management. If common aspirin or other OTC medications that are marketed to relieve the pain of arthritis don't help to relieve the pain adequately, your doctor can prescribe something that will specifically target the pain that's associated with arthritis.
In order for that to happen, though, you'll have to communicate your needs so that a treatment plan can be put into place. Silence, in this case, is not golden.
author of About Rheumatoid Arthritis is Leroy Gastering
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Article About Rheumatoid Arthritis was submitted by
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