Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints, which can lead to disability and deformity. It can affect any joint in the body but most often affects the hand, wrist, and feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe joint pain, swelling, and decreased mobility if left untreated. Treatment options typically involve a combination of biologic and nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, and rehabilitation. In some cases, surgical interventions may also be necessary.
Unfortunately, due to the complexities of the condition, managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be complicated and overwhelming. That’s why this article will discuss some of the symptoms and treatment options of rheumatoid arthritis.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own joint tissues, leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness.
RA usually affects both hands and feet, but any joint can be affected. Other symptoms of RA can include fatigue, fever, and weakness. RA is more common in women than men and tends to occur more often in those aged 40 and over.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects up to 1% of the population in some countries, and it is one of the most common causes of disability among adults. However, the signs and symptoms are readily noticeable, and if you’re paying attention, the diagnosis will be easier, and the treatment can start promptly.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms of RA may include joint pain, limited range of motion, swelling, stiffness, joint deformity, loss of appetite, and anemia. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, and some people may go months or even years without any symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be non-steroidal, but they always include joint pain, and the rest of the symptoms in this article are usually found in patients with this disease at some point in their ailment.
1) Joint pain
This is, without a doubt the cornerstone symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. More specifically, this disease causes a persistent case of symmetric polyarthritis. In other words, when one side of the body is affected, the opposite side is also painful. For instance, you have knee pain, and it is felt in both knees. Polyarthritis means that a minimum of five joints are affected simultaneously.
Joint pain worsens progressively but may also fluctuate over time, with periods of flare-ups and remissions of the disease. However, in most cases, patients experience difficulty performing their daily activities, even in periods of relative remission of the disease.