Rheumatoid Arthritis, is an inflammatory type of arthritis which produces joint pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the inner lining of joints known as synovium membrane. This results in to swelling which gives pain, stiffness of joint, movement5 restriction of the joint, and deformity of the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men. The disease can affect any age group.
There's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. With proper treatment, a strategy for joint protection and changes in lifestyle, you can live a long, productive life with rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis:
- Joint pain, swelling, stiffness and movement restriction
- Nodular swelling under the skin over the joints known as rheumatoid nodule
- Morning stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes
- Weight loss
Many joints are affected at a time. In the early stage of the illness smaller joints like wrists, hands, ankles and feet are affected. As the disease progresses, the bigger joints of the body like shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, jaw and neck can also become involved. Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms range from mild to severe forms. Period of increased disease activity alternates with period of remission, during which relief in symptoms of fever, weakness and joint pain is experienced.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness, in which bodyâ€™s white blood cells, whose main function is to protect body from bacteria and other infective organism entering the body from outside, start attacking synovial membrane of the joints. These blood cells cause swelling and inflammation of the synovial membrane. The inflammation causes the release of proteins that, progressively causes thickening and hardening of the synovium membrane. These proteins also damage other structures of the joint like cartilage, bone, tendons and ligaments of the joint. With progress of the illness and ongoing pathological process in the joints the involved joints loose shape, loose functional capacity, loose strength, and eventually get destroyed.
Following factors that may increase risk of Rheumatoid arthritis:
- Gender: Women are more affected than men.
- Family history: Positive family history of rheumatoid arthritis is observed in those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Self care measures for Rheumatoid arthritis:
- Exercise regularly: mild muscle strengthening exercise under supervision helps to maintain strength and flexibility of the joint.
- Eat a healthy diet: Fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help to keep the weight in control. This will ensure less burden of weakening joints.
- Protect your joints: Reduce stress on joint by learning to do the daily routine in easier way. Your physiotherapist may help in learning these techniques.
- Use specially designed devices: you can use specially devised grips and other instruments which can help you in doing your daily work more comfortably without stressing your weakening joint.
- Apply heat and cold: this may help reduce pain and relax the affected joint.
Role of Homeopathy in Rheumatoid arthritis:
Homeopathy has proved very effective in controlling pain as well as progress of the illness. The patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have to invariably depend on pain relieving medications which may involve steroids and other drugs. These drugs may have undesired side effects in some patients when used for longer duration. Homeopathic medicines are safe, and effective for longer use as well as it gives desired relief to the patients. Homeopathic medicines have no powers to change the structural alterations and damage of tissues like thickening of synovium membrane, damage of cartilage and bone. What we can expect prom homeopathic treatment is slowing of progress of the illness and better control of pain, and complete protection from the side effects.