Rheumatoid Arthritis Signs And Symptoms
The most commonly affected joints are the fingers, wrists, knees, ankles and feet . Common symptoms include:
- Morning stiffness
- Joint pain
- Joint deformation
- Dry eyes and mouth
Symptoms either begin suddenly or come on gradually, and are typically more severe than osteoarthritis. Main areas of discomfort are the hands, wrists, knees, ankles, feet, shoulders, elbows, neck and jaw. Joint swelling is also typically constant which affects the ability to comfortably perform an array of daily tasks, such as walking or driving. If ill managed symptoms can affect organs such as the heart, lungs and eyes, causing further complications.
Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Because RA damages joints over time, it causes some disability. It can cause pain and movement problems. You may be less able to do your normal daily activities and tasks. This can also lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.
RA can also affect many nonjoint parts of the body, such as the lungs, heart, skin, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and kidneys. These complications can lead to severe illness and even death.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ra
With RA, there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.
Signs and symptoms of RA include:
- Pain or aching in more than one joint
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body
- Weight loss
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Arthritis
Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body.
Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may find that it’s hard to do daily tasks you used to do easily, such as climbing stairs or opening a jar. Pain and stiffness may be more severe during certain times of the day or after you’ve done certain tasks.
Some types of arthritis cause swelling or inflammation. The skin over the joint may appear swollen and red and feel hot to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also cause fatigue.
How Does Arthritis Affect The Body
Different types of arthritis can affect the body in different ways, but in most types, the joints are damaged. Bone, cartilage, and other tissues in the joints may be broken down for various reasons, and sometimes when new tissue grows in, the joints can become enlarged. Almost any joint can be affected, but commonly-affected joints include knees, hips, wrists, hands, and spine. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint dislocation or disfiguration. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes affect the eyes, and if those eye issues are left untreated, it can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and blindness. Other types of arthritis may lead to debilitating pain and loss of strength in and around the joint.
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What Are Tips For Managing And Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
The following tips are helpful in managing and living with RA:
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Eat healthy foods. Avoid sugar and junk food. Quit smoking, or don’t start. Don’t drink alcohol in excess. These common-sense measures have an enormous impact on general health and help the body function at its best.
- Exercise: Discuss the right kind of exercise for you with your doctor, if necessary.
- Rest when needed, and get a good night’s sleep. The immune system functions better with adequate sleep. Pain and mood improve with adequate rest.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about medications to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects.
- Communicate with your doctor about your questions and concerns. They have experience with many issues that are related to rheumatoid arthritis.
Other Muscle Or Joint Injuries
In addition, other injuries to the body can occur. Walking with a limp can place additional stresses on the muscles around the back, hip, and knee, Dr. Hogan says. Trochanteric bursitis, for example, which is an inflammation of the tissues around the side of the hip, is often triggered by poor balance and abnormal gait patterns.
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How To Avoid Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the nerves in the body which is why a lot of patients experience numbness and sharp pain in affected areas. The condition is definitely alarming. It affects more parts of the body than you think. And does not just affect your joints as bones like most of the people say. It can also affect vital organs and affect your vision as well as your nerves. So, is vital to treat this condition as soon as possible to avoid complications of rheumatoid arthritis.
Ways Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects The Body
Along with joint pain and swelling, about four out of 10 people with RA have related problems in other body parts, says Eric Matteson, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the department of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.
RA can decrease life expectancy, but with modern therapies, we are seeing less rheumatoid disease outside of the joints, and patients are living longer, he says.
Here, 10 different body parts, how they’re affected by RA, and what helps the symptoms.
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What Are The Parts Of A Joint
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
Who Should Diagnose And Treat Gout
The disease should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of gout patients. This is important because the signs and symptoms of gout are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory diseases. Doctors who specialize in gout and other forms of arthritis are called rheumatologists. To find a provider near you, visit the database of rheumatologistsexternal icon on the American College of Rheumatology website. Once a rheumatologist has diagnosed and effectively treated your gout, a primary care provider can usually track your condition and help you manage your gout.
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How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Immune System
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition potentially disabling which occurs when the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the cell lining the joints. It causes loss of joint function, a lot of joint pain, swelling, stiffness and at times also leads to permanent deformity. Well, rheumatoid arthritis can be hard to diagnose early because the symptoms are deceptive. As a result, no test can conclusively establish its right diagnosis. It is responsible for inflammation and RA Joints pain which affects joints in fingers, toes, knees, and wrists.
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
- How old you are
- How well you handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
- If your condition is expected to get worse
- Your opinion or preference
There is no cure for RA. The goal of treatment is often to limit pain and inflammation, and help ensure function. You may have 1 or more types of treatments. Treatment may include:
- Medicines. Some medicines may be used for pain relief. Some are used to treat inflammation. Others can help to slow the disease from getting worse. Medicines should be managed by a rheumatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in arthritis and rheumatic diseases. You may need regular blood tests to check how the medicines affect your blood cells, liver, and kidneys.
- Splints. Splints may be used to help protect the joints and strengthen weak joints.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be used to help increase the strength and movement of the affected areas.
In some cases, surgery may be an option if other treatments dont work. Surgery does not cure RA. It helps correct the deformities caused by the disease. After surgery, RA can still cause problems. You may even need more surgery. Joint repair or reconstruction can be done in many ways, including:
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How Is Ra Treated
RA can be effectively treated and managed with medication and self-management strategies. Treatment for RA usually includes the use of medications that slow disease and prevent joint deformity, called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs biological response modifiers are medications that are an effective second-line treatment. In addition to medications, people can manage their RA with self-management strategies proven to reduce pain and disability, allowing them to pursue the activities important to them. People with RA can relieve pain and improve joint function by learning to use five simple and effective arthritis management strategies.
Rashes Ulcers And Bumps: How Ra Affects Your Skin
Up to 30 percent of people with RA develop rheumatoid nodules knots of inflammatory tissue just under the skin near a joint, according to research published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews. Most often appearing on the elbows, hands, and feet, they can be treated with a steroid injection if they become bothersome.
All the conditions that affect the skin tend to resolve once RA is controlled with DMARD medications.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no single test that shows whether you have RA. Your doctor will give you a checkup, ask you about your symptoms, and possibly perform X-rays and blood tests.
Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed from a combination of things, including:
- The location and symmetry of painful joints, especially the hand joints
- Joint stiffness in the morning
- Bumps and nodules under the skin
- Results of X-rays and blood tests
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
The exact cause of RA is not known. RA is an autoimmune disorder. This means the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. This causes inflammation in and around the joints. This may damage the skeletal system. RA can also damage other organs, such as the heart and lungs. Researchers think certain factors, including heredity, may be a factor.
RA most often occurs in people from ages 30 to 50, but it can occur at any age. It happens more in women than in men.
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What Is The Prognosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
As a rule, the severity of rheumatoid arthritis waxes and wanes. Periods of active inflammation and tissue damage marked by worsening of symptoms are interspersed with periods of little or no activity, in which symptoms get better or go away altogether . The duration of these cycles varies widely among individuals.
Outcomes are also highly variable. Some people have a relatively mild condition, with little disability or loss of function. Others at the opposite end of the spectrum experience severe disability due to pain and loss of function. Disease that remains persistently active for more than a year is likely to lead to joint deformities and disability. Approximately 40% of people have some degree of disability 10 years after their diagnosis. For most, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic progressive illness, but about 5%-10% of people experience remission without treatment. This is uncommon, however, after the first three to six months.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not fatal, but complications of the disease shorten life span by a few years in some individuals. Although generally rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, the disease gradually becomes less aggressive and symptoms may even improve. However, any damage to joints and ligaments and any deformities that have occurred are permanent. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect parts of the body other than the joints.
Types Of Arthritis Pain
- Acute Arthritis Pain
Acute arthritis pain is what you experience when you cut or wound yourself. This type of pain is generally temporary and shouldnt last more than a few days to a few weeks.
Various types of arthritis can cause acute pain. For example, when you hold yourself in the same position for an extended period, and you start to feel some of your joints aching, thats acute arthritis pain. This type of pain goes away eventually and shouldnt last longer than a few weeks. If it does, consult a doctor right away.
- Chronic Arthritis Pain
Chronic arthritis pain is generally longer lasting and recurrent. This has been described as torture to many of the people who suffer from it. This type of pain can last days, weeks, months, and even years. In rare cases, this type of pain can even last for a lifetime. Chronic pain has been described as the worst side effect of arthritis and can disable a person permanently.
Every person can handle various amounts of pain differently. This makes it particularly difficult to describe the exact amount of pain one with arthritis may feel. Some people cant take the pain and will stop all activity if they feel even a little discomfort, and some may continue to work and walk while enduring harsh pain.
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What Happens When Someone Has Jia
People with JIA may have pain and stiffness that can change from day to day or from morning to afternoon. These symptoms can come and go. When the condition becomes more active and the symptoms worsen, it’s known as a “flare” or a “flare-up.”
JIA often causes only minor problems, but in some cases it can cause serious joint damage or limit growth. Although JIA mostly affects the joints and surrounding tissues, it can also affect other organs, like the eyes, liver, heart, and lungs.
JIA is a condition, meaning it can last for months and years. Sometimes the symptoms just go away with treatment, which is known as remission. Remission may last for months, years, or a person’s lifetime. In fact, many teens with JIA eventually enter full remission with little or no permanent joint damage.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How Arthritis Can Affect The Spine And How It Is Treated
Arthritis is a painful condition affecting millions of people. When it hits the spine, the results can be debilitating and may even require surgery.
But the prognosis for arthritis of the spine is dependent on the way arthritis has manifested itself. Treatment may range from physical therapy and targeted mobility exercises to surgical intervention. Lets take a look at how arthritis can affect the spine and how it is treated.
Jak Inhibitors And Ra
- Tofacitinib is the first in a new class of “small molecule” medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis called JAK inhibitors. Tofacitinib is a treatment for adults with moderate to severe active RA in which methotrexate was not very effective. Patients can take tofacitinib with or without methotrexate, and this prescription drug is taken by mouth two times a day. Tofacitinib is a “targeted” drug that only blocks Janus kinase, special enzymes of inflammation, within cells. This is why it is referred to as a JAK inhibitor. JAK inhibitors are not used with biologic medications.
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Arthritis In Certain Parts Of The Body Can Make It More Difficult To Walk Heres How To Deal With These Changes In Your Gait And Remain Mobile
Having arthritis in your hips, knees, ankles, or feet can making walking harder a side effect that can have consequences for your daily well-being and quality of life. I found myself limping to avoid pain, arthritis patient Lisa H. told us on Facebook. It got to the point where my daughter would imitate my walk, which made me realize I needed some help.
Managing the underlying disease, physical therapy to help correct your movements, and possibly using assistive devices or shoes can help you minimize changes to your gait and retain your independence and mobility.
What Are The Complications Of Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.
- Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
- Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
- Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.
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