One of the most prevalent types of arthritis afflicting people of different races and of any age is Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The disease appears earlier than osteoarthritis at anytime of a persons life from infancy to old age but it usually upsets people in their 20's to 40's. Women are more prone to acquire the disease than men although this is evened out when the men reach their 50's.
The most familiar place for this kind of arthritis is in the foot, hands, wrists and lastly the ankles. But most cases are found in the foot where more joints are put under a lot of pressure. As a joint disease, it is also symmetrical in which it affects both joints of the body involved.
An acute illness accompanied by high fever with intense inflammation of the joints could mark the start of a rheumatoid arthritis. But the cause of the disease is unknown and its existence among children known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis has been dubbed as a mystery.
Several views have been provided to explain the occurrence of the disease. One such view postulates that the body's antibodies, produced to fight against infection, actually attack the joints which results in swelling and redness. The cartilage and bone may eventually be damaged as the inflammation spreads to the tissues around the joint.
The study of genetics has found a certain chemical marker among those positive with rheumatoid arthritis leading to the belief that a virus or a bacteria actually triggers its development. Some say that sudden and traumatic injuries like ankle sprains would eventually have the affected joints to be vulnerable to the disease in the future. Symptoms may also develop through severe stress, obesity that aggravates most arthritic conditions and bowel disorders like colitis.
Treatment for the disease does not include its cure as there is no existing cure for it. But treatments are available to relieve pain and discomfort. Drug therapies are available to control the spread of the disease which in its severe form could affect other parts of the body. Aspirin and ibuprofen as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used.
Cortisone shots or steroid injections may also be helpful to relieve intense pain. Drugs known as DMADs are also available if NSAIDs does not work. Surgery is sometimes the last resort if all the other traditional means are ineffective to ease the pain and the progression of the disease.
Among children, the disease is outgrown while older people get stuck with it for a long time. Children are afflicted around 5 to 16 years old where diagnosis is quite difficult because they could easily find ways to ignore the pain. Even if they do get treated for the disease or the disease may go away, the chances that it will come back in later years is high. Its treatment is different from that of the adult rheumatoid arthritis especially on its drug medications.
Children or adults afflicted with the disease are encouraged to do exercise to strengthen their bones and help them move but it should be guided by a therapist. Proper treatment of the disease and any other alternative plan of action after the diagnosis should be discussed with your doctor.