Non-Surgical Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own joints. The joints then become severely inflamed, leading to pain and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis typically starts by attacking smaller joints, but if left untreated then it can affect the larger ones. When the inflammation in a given joint goes too long without being treated, it can lead to the breakdown of cartilage and irreversible joint deformity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and elbows. Effects of this condition are typically symmetrical, meaning that if the right wrist is affected, the left wrist is likely affected as well. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible when experiencing joint pain symptoms. Early detection of rheumatoid arthritis is key to its treatment and control. Diagnosing this condition early can help prevent loss of cartilage and long-term damage to the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Tender, warm, swollen joints
- Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
- Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite
Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of the membranes that surround your joints. The resulting inflammation thickens, which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch. Gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment.