Posts Tagged 'rheumatoid arthritis'

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Friday, August 27th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Although a cure for rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been discovered, rheumatoid arthritis treatment plays an integral part in managing this medical condition. Characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, this autoimmune disease is a progressive illness that causes a variety of symptoms. These include severe aches and pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, stiffness, and a lack of energy.

Unfortunately the disease develops gradually, so it is not always possible to determine exactly when it began. Some people find that the disease is active constantly, while others show signs of symptoms intermittently. The specific symptoms, and the severity of pain and discomfort, depend entirely on the individual and can be worse if a person is inactive for a long period of time.

The main goal of treating rheumatoid arthritis is to manage the pain, maximize the functioning of joints, and reduce inflammation. The prevention of joint damage and deformity also forms part of treatment. Since the severity of the symptoms varies according to the case, treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of each patient. Generally factors, such as age, occupation, overall health, the types of joints that are inflamed, and whether the disease is active or not, are all taken into consideration when deciding on a course of treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment usually consists of a combination of medications and non-drug therapies. The types of drugs used include anti-inflammatory medications and drugs that promote remission, as well as slow down the progression of the disease.

Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as cortisone and aspirin are used for pain management and to reduce inflammation. Hydroxychloroquine, gold salts, sulfasalazine and methotrexate are commonly used to slow down the progression of joint destruction and promote remission. In cases where joint deformity is severe, surgery may be necessary.

Non-drug therapies include physical therapy and specific exercises to relieve pain and stiffness. Besides reducing inflammation, physical therapy can be used to address particular effects of the disease and preserve the structure of joints. A combination of relaxation techniques, finger splinting, ultrasound, and hot and cold therapies are used to achieve optimal results. A dietary plan is often recommended to ensure patients receive plenty of essential nutrients, especially during periods when there is a loss of appetite. To help with fatigue and restore energy, individuals are encouraged to rest.

In order for rheumatoid arthritis treatment to be successful, a patient needs to work closely with a medical health care provider. Anyone who continuously follows an effective treatment plan designed for their particular case will have a better chance of improvement.

Getting Rid Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Many people with a chronic problem of rheumatoid arthritis know only too well that they cannot stay without using formulas to check the progress of this debilitating disease. Yet they also respect the wisdom of using natural remedies. Natural solutions have the ability to draw from nature the beauty and soothing quality of its elements. They come unchanged and have no side effects, which is more than can be said about pharmaceutical products.

Before we look at a few of these remedies, let us see what we are avoiding in pharmaceutical products. After all, someone could ask what it is we are afraid of in these other products.

The matter is rather simple. Take aspirin for example. It is a very good reliever of pain and it even calms down swelling of joints in rheumatoid arthritis. You could ask why with such a pain killer of world repute and with an equally strong anti-inflammatory effect should have to worry anybody. It is true. It will not cause heart trouble of mess up lung tissue like some of the steroid based medicines. But with continued use, it will cause you bleeding in the gastrointestinal region.

So, do you still want to know what is on offer naturally?

– The Devil’s claw: so called from the appearance of hooks on the fruit of this plant, it has been used for longer than Christianity has existed. The people of South Africa have used it to treat rheumatoid arthritis, pancreas trouble, skin conditions and even fever. It has been proven to contain harpagosides and the painkilling ingredient, vioxx.

– Fatty acids (the omega-3): our bodies are not producers of omega-3 fatty acids but they need it. There have been studies to test the validity of the claim that these have any assistance to offer the rheumatoid arthritis patient. From salmon fish and other cold water fish, they are found in oil and have a way of dissuading persistent swelling. Since most fish now have traces of mercury, you can obtain your supply of omega -3 fatty acids in oil extracted, screened for chemicals and packed as capsules.

– Boswellia: the herb is a native of India and it is acidic in component structure. It works as an inhibitor to swelling. What’s more, it brings on no irritation. It has been packaged as a pill now which should be easy to obtain and use. The extended use of this by rheumatoid arthritis patients should be abserved by a doctor.

Gamma-linolenic acid: this one is found to be contained in borage oil, evening (primose) oils and black currant seed oil. It works like omega-3 fatty acids as an anti-inflammatory.

When you choose your medication, remember to consider your age, extent of joint damage and whether other treatments have worked before.

Look at the following tips and build on your knowledge of this disease.

1. There a more than 100 types of this illness. In occurrence, a single variety can probably be called a single disease. These related conditions are diagnosed as different and treated as such. The most similar thing with all is that it affects joints and the areas surrounding the joints. At risk is cartilage that prevents bones from rubbing against each other. Other varieties afflict the muscle and soft tissue too.

2. Arthritis cannot be cured; it can be managed. With this in mind, we can begin to understand its various treatments and what they do. At this point, let us get it clearly that the best a treatment formula can do for you is reduce the amount of pain, calm down the inflammation around joints and slow down the progress of this disease.

3. The only expert who should handle your case should be a rheumatologist. Such a doctor’s expertise is in arthritis and they understand it better, have probably treated it before and have a more truthful picture of the reality this disease is.

4. It is possible to be limited by the effects of this disease in your functions on a daily basis. You might not be able to walk well, bend over, stoop or do stairs. Your productive hours of work might be reduced by attacks of deep pain. It is important that you begin to understand this and make provisions for it. you can relinquish some of your responsibilities at work or assign duties you used to perform to other members of the family.

5. It cost to treat arthritis. Even when you strive to keep your treatment of this chronic illness natural, you are only lowering the cost. Herbs and supplements cost and you cannot postpone buying them like you would do with a new shirt. Healthy eating can also cost you a little. What is important to know is that everything costs. What matters is to make it worthwhile.

6. Emotionally, there can be a strain. Before spouses begin to understanding that arthritis will not go away, it might take some time and some emotional strain. You are also bound to be shocked at the discovery, so be ready for it.

7. An early diagnosis is probably the best thing that can happen to a sufferer of this disease. It is possible to slow it in its early stages and lead a normal life. This way, it gives you the best opportunity to fight it.

8. As people are different, treatments favour some and not others. It will take time before you land the formula that works for you. Stay on the experimental path and stay optimistic. Patience will eventually pay.

Stay in the know and you will be a step before arthritis. That way it will be struggling to bring you down, not you struggling to stay abreast with it.

Common Arthritis Symptoms

Friday, February 26th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Did you know there are over 100 different types of arthritis? Shocking, isn’t it? Today, we’re going to take a look at the four most common types of arthritis and their symptoms. If your type of arthritis isn’t covered, conduct research via the Internet. Just type in “arthritis symptoms” at your favorite search engine and you’ll be well on your way to finding more answers.

Osteoarthritis falls into the category of Degenerative Arthritis. Also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD); osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (cushion) in a joint breaks down. When the cushion becomes too thin, it causes friction and inflammation in the tissue surrounding the joint. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the feet, knees, hips, and fingers.

As with any disease, symptoms vary from person to person. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease and symptoms oftentimes go unnoticed until the disease is fairly advanced. The primary symptom is pain in the joints. Other symptoms include stiffness and swelling in the joints; a “snapping” or “clicking” noise of the joints; and bony growths at the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis falls into the category of Autoimmune Disease, or Autoimmunity. Autoimmune disease is believed to be caused by an over-production of cytokines – a communication device devised for cells to talk to each other. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe joint damage. It frequently causes fingers and toes to become deformed and can be excruciatingly painful. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body. Symptoms include chronic inflammation and pain in the joints or entire body, chronic fatigue, weight loss and anemia.

Juvenile arthritis affects children before the age of 16. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in one or more joints. There are three types of Juvenile arthritis; each with their own set of symptoms:

  • Systemic onset type – Begins with high fevers and frequently accompanied by a skin rash.
  • Pauciarticular onset disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting fewer than five joints. This type of arthritis affects about 50 percent of all children with arthritis.
  • Polyarticular disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting five or more joints.

Cervical arthritis affects the upper spine and cervical vertebrae. Either through age, injury, or disease; the cervical vertebrae begin to degenerate. Additionally, the shock-absorbing disks that float between each vertebra begin to degenerate. Over the course of time, the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the neck become compressed. The compression causes the nerves to become inflamed, which produces neck pain that may radiate through the arms and to the fingers.
Health articles online
The most common symptoms of cervical arthritis include: chronic neck pain; muscle weakness; numbness in the neck, arms and hands; limited range-of-motion; headaches; and loss of balance.

Exercise Therapy for Arthritis

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that affects the body’s joints, making them painful to move or to put force onto. There are over 150 different types of arthritis but the most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joint breaks down and causes the bones to rub together. There is generally little inflammation but the joint loses shape and the bone ends thicken and develop bony growths that rub against each other. Osteoarthritis normally develops in weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees, spine, or feet.

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the synovial lining of the joint becomes inflamed and causes damage to the bone and cartilage. The joints lose shape and can vary from slight inflammation to gross deformation of the joint. Fingers, knees, wrists, and shoulders are the most common sites to be affected.

Arthritis is common as a person ages and their joints naturally degenerate and break down. It is common in obese individuals as added stress is placed on their joints. It is also common in past sports people, especially those who played high impact sports such as football or basketball where repeated stress is placed on the joints.

Exercise Tips

Exercise will not cure arthritis but it can slow the process down a lot.
Spend large amounts of time warming up and cooling down. Spend at least ten minutes slowly warming the joints with gentle movements.
Use isometric exercises when first starting. These are exercises that do not require any movement, such as pushing against a brick wall. After a few weeks, introduce exercises that require movement.
Use machine weights instead of free weights when in the gym. Machine weights place less stress on the joints.
– Do not lift weights that are too heavy.
Aerobic exercises, such as swimming and cycling, are best as they are low impact exercises that do not place much strain on the joints.
Rest during periods of severe flaring in the joints. Working through the pain does not help and will cause further pain and discomfort.

With arthritis there is a fine line between the right amount of exercise and doing too much. If any pain is experienced while exercising reduce the intensity of the workout and do what is possible. A light exercise workout is more beneficial than a hard one that leaves you in agony for a few weeks.