Learn to Care for Your Joints During Arthritis Awareness Month

A common misconception about rheumatoid arthritis is that it only affects older people, but this has proven to be untrue. No matter what stage of life you are in, you can be at risk of developing this autoimmune and inflammatory disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation, people of all ages, races, and sexes live with arthritis, which is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.

It’s crucial to know how to spot and treat rheumatoid arthritis, which is one of 100 different types of arthritis.  That begins with understanding what rheumatoid arthritis is. This condition develops when the body’s immune system attacks the joints, most commonly the hands and feet. 

The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but experts believe genes play a role – even though for most people, rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t run in their families. It’s believed that one or more particular genes increase the chances of the body’s immune system attacking joints tissue, although the immune response could also be triggered by bacteria or a virus.

So how can you spot this disease? Early symptoms include joint and neck pain, fatigue, stiffness, weight loss, and a low-grade fever. These symptoms will usually develop slowly over  weeks or months. Bumps, or nodules, may also form over pressure points, including the elbows, knuckles, spine, and lower leg bones. 

Typically, rheumatoid arthritis is treated with medicine, which can control the symptoms or prevent the disease from getting worse. Additionally, physical activity and rest can help. In extreme cases, if medicine and physical therapy don’t work to relieve severe pain, surgery may be an option, depending on the joints that are affected. . Though there’s no cure for this condition, treatment can help reduce the symptoms and manage the disease.

These treatments can help you maintain your lifestyle, lessen joint pain, moderate joint damage, and prevent disability. With the help of your doctor, you can find the treatment plan that works best for you. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns, because they will have the best approach for you.

Though rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, these treatment options can be highly effective. If you’re diagnosed with the disease, stay positive and follow your health care provider’s recommendations. To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and ways to stay healthy, go to https://capitalhealth.com/.

Sourced By: Healthwise
Reviewed By: Capital Health Plan Physicians Group

2023-05-01 18:45:00