There are a lot of myths and rumors surrounding rheumatoid arthritis. Mystery seems to surround everything from what actually causes the disease to potential ways to cope with the pain associated with it. The simple truth is that this particular disease can present in a number of different ways and how severe it is will really dictate the best path to consider for coping.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects the joints within the body. It can cause such things as pain, swelling and stiffness. The disease itself tends to present systemically, which means if one side of the body has it, the other likely will, too. For example, if left knee shows signs of a rheumatoid condition, the right will, as well. In addition to stiffness and pain, rheumatoid can bring with it deformities in extreme cases, a sense of overall fatigue and even fevers.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that doctors are still researching to figure out exact causes. What is known is that this particular condition can come and completely go away without leaving behind permanent damage. It can also present with flare-ups that come and go over time. In some cases, unfortunately, the disease persists for years on end, bringing with it permanent damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in people in the middle age of life, but it can strike children at times. While the exact causes are unclear, many doctors believe it can come from such things as genetics, hormones, and even environment. Women tend to be more likely to get this condition than men.
Dealing with rheumatoid arthritis can be a very difficult task that will come with both good days and bad days. The pain can be unbearable at times, but the good news is there are very effective ways of coping with it. What works for one patient, might not work for another. Fortunately, there are a lot of different treatment options.
When it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis, doctors strive to achieve a few things. The primary goals of any treatment are to reduce pain and swelling, stave off joint damage and help people feel better while staying active. The last two points are particularly important when the disease strikes the very young and very active. Since cures can often be worse than the condition, the goal here is pain reduction without quality of life reduction.
Depending on the severity of the case of rheumatoid arthritis, a doctor might prescribe such things as anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling, which often helps with the pain. In some cases, painkillers will be advised, but many try to steer clear of this option. Other forms of treatment include gentle exercises to keep the range of motion good, cold compresses, injections and so on. The key, again, is to preserve quality of life while also preventing any permanent issues.
Since rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes be a lifelong condition, it can bring with it some emotional problems, as well. To help patients cope, there are even support groups that can be of real benefit.
Living life with rheumatoid arthritis isn’t easy, but it can be done effectively when patience, persistence and a willingness to overcome are all present. The best advice is to take it a day at a time and do what’s necessary to cope to make living with rheumatoid arthritis possible.
For more information on arthritis, try visiting http://www.easyarthritistips.com a website that specializes in providing arthritis related tips, advice and resources to include information on rheumatoid arthritis.