TREATMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS : Arthritis is a painful condition that usually swells and stiffens the joints, making it very difficult if not impossible to bend. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic type that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.
This condition can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can have effect in some of the organs of the body, such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart & even blood vessels. Severe rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform or shift out of place; it could lead to physical disabilities.
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Tender, red, warm or swollen joints
- Joint stiffness that worsens in the mornings and after inactivity
- Fever and loss of desire to eat
- Pain and stiffness at the corresponding joint(s) at the other part of the body
- Other parts of the body that it can affect include the Skin, Eyes, Lungs, Heart, Kidneys, Salivary glands, Nerve tissue, Bone marrow, Blood vessels.
These symptoms vary in severity and may come and go.
It may be difficult to diagnose this type of arthritis in its early stages as symptoms look like those of other similar conditions. However, your doctor will conduct physical examination to check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she may also check your impulses and muscle strength.
Blood tests could also indicate the presence of an inflammatory process in the body.
Imaging tests such as X-rays to track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time; MRI and ultrasound tests can be recommended to help to know the severity of the disease in your body.
Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis could start with:
- Medications: These include Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids, as could be recommended by your doctor, to reduce pains and stem swellings. This will depend on the severity of your symptoms and longevity of the disease.
- Surgery: This may be considered, based on your doctor’s recommendation, if medications do not prevent joint damage. Surgery may be considered to repair damaged joints; restore your ability to use your joint; reduce pain and improve function.
Rheumatoid arthritis surgery may involve any or some of these procedures: Synovectomy, Tendon repair, Joint fusion, Total Joint Replacement. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection and pain. Discuss this properly with your doctor before considering it.
- Physical Therapy: This is avery viable treatment option your doctor can recommend. The physiotherapist would effectively manage the condition and teach you exercises to help keep your joints flexible and also suggest new ways to do daily tasks that will be easier for your joints to heal.
He could suggest assistive devices which can make it easier to avoid stressing your painful joints. For instance, a kitchen knife equipped with a hand grip helps protect your finger and wrist joints from injuries.
You can request to see a Physiotherapist here by calling +234 811 885 6060 or +234 909 860 4470.