Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is an autoimmune disorder affecting the joints of the hands and feet. RA occurs when the body’s defence system attacks its own tissues. The attack results in swollen, painful joints with a stiffness that worsens after rest or sleep. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects joint lining which causes swelling and pain, and leads to bone erosion and joint deformities, over a period of time.
Symptoms : The symptoms of RA include:
- - Joint pain and swelling (mostly affecting the small joints initially and later could affect any joint.)
- - Joint stiffness (morning stiffness is the main characteristic of RA, gets better as the day progresses.)
- - Fatigue or tiredness
- - Fever
- - Redness and warmth in the joints
- - Decrease in range of motion
- - Loss of appetite / weight loss
How can Rheumatoid arthritis be treated?
There is no cure for Rheumatoid arthritis but with the help of various treatment options, symptoms can be relieved and one can get rid of joint pain and stiffness. Various treatment methods include:
- - Medications: NSAIDs, steroids, DMARDs
- - Physical or occupational therapy
- - Surgery: Synovectomy, Tendon repair, joint fusion, total joint replacement