What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. Because it can effect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Even though infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi have long been suspected, none has been proven as the cause. It is believed that the tendency to develop rheumatoid arthritis may be genetically inherited. It is also suspected that certain infections or factors in the environment might trigger the activation of the immune system in susceptible individuals. This misdirected immune system then attacks the body’s own tissues. This leads to inflammation in the joints and sometimes in various organs of the body, such as the lungs or eyes.
Environmental factors also seem to play some role in causing rheumatoid arthritis. For example, scientists have reported that smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
To date, the goal of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint destruction and deformity. Early medical intervention has been shown to be important in improving outcomes. Aggressive management can improve function and stop damage to joints. Optimal treatment for the disease involves a combination of medications, rest, join-strengthening exercises, joint protection, and patient (and family) education. Treatment is customized according to many factors such as disease activity, types of joints involved, general health, age, and patient occupation.
Proper, regular exercise is important in maintaining joint mobility and in strengthening the muscles around the joints. Swimming is particularly helpful because it allows exercise with minimal stress on the joints. Heat and cold applications are modalities than can ease symptoms before and after exercise.
What are the differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Aquamed Dry Hydrotherapy
ATM (Acute Therapeutic Movement)
Integrative Dry Needling