What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It can cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints and other organs in the body.
Arthritis means joint inflammation. Reason why arthritis is autoimmune disease because the natural defense system turns against the body and attacks some of its own structures and tissues, in this case the joints.
Finding the most effective rheumatoid arthritis treatment is crucial to managing rheumatoid arthritis. You should know that there is no cure for this, but treatment can help reduce inflammation in the joints, prevent or slow joint damage and enable you to live as active a life as possible.
Your doctor may send you to a therapist who can teach you exercises to help keep your joints flexible. The therapist may also suggest new ways to do daily tasks, which will be easier on your joints.
For example, if your fingers are sore, you may want to pick up an object using your forearms.
Early treatment like lifestyle changes, medication, supportive treatments, surgery can reduce the risk of joint damage.
The goals of rheumatoid arthritis treatment are to:
1. Stop inflammation
2. Relieve symptoms
3. Prevent joint and organ damage
4. Improve physical function and overall well-being
5. Reduce long-term complications
The three main aspects to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are:
• Drugs. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis need to take more than one drug. This is because different drugs work in different ways. A common combination is a painkiller, an NSAID and one or more DMARD.
If you take two or more anti-rheumatic drugs they can be more effective than just taking one and there are no extra side-effects. Because DMARDs take some time to start working you may also be given a steroid, which can reduce the inflammation and ease your symptoms while the DMARDs are taking effect.
• Physical therapies. Exercise is an important part of this, and a physiotherapist can suggest different exercises that may help ease your symptoms, strengthen muscles and stretch your joints safely.
You may find that hydrotherapy useful. If you’re having difficulty with day-to-day activities an occupational therapist can suggest ways that you could do them without putting too much strain on your joints.
• Surgery. It’s important for people with permanent damage. Joint replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore function in joints. The procedure involves replacing damaged parts of a joint with metal and plastic parts.
Hip and knee replacements are most common. However, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and other joints may be considered for replacement.
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