Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease which causes tremendous pain to the person affected by it. Any person in the age group 25 to 55 may develop this condition. Starting as a little pain in one or two joints it may soon develop into an extremely painful affair, almost all the joints of the body and associated muscles, causing the pain. It is a slow destructive swelling of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the finger joints and joints of the feet initially. Soon it develops and covers the entire body, to affect all joints, like the wrists, knees, shoulders, ankles, elbows etc. It is a very painful experience to be affected with this illness. Sometimes, the pain is a little eased but there are repeated and progressive attacks which make the person suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis suffer a lot. It has been found that the percentage of women suffering from this type of arthritis is nearly double than that of men. It also affects people of any age group.
This problem has many symptoms, all of them painful. Swollen joints have stiffness and pain. The pain and swelling increase in the mornings usually. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes the skin over the affected joints to get a shiny appearance. Movement of the person becomes very restricted because of general stiffness in the joints and muscles. Though not very common, in a very few cases mobility loss may also occur. It causes a general feeling of illness in the affected person, who may also suffer from loss of appetite. Because of the destructive effect, over a period of time, especially the joints of the hands, they may become deformed and completely lose their function. Rheumatoid arthritis is a persistent disease, sometimes causing anaemia and also affecting the eyes, lungs etc.
As with many diseases, the exact cause of this problem is not known. Known treatment is to take painkillers to get relief from the pain. It is always advisable to contact the doctor as soon as symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis appear. The doctor gets the affected joints x-rayed so that he can know the extent of damage and severity of the attack. The doctor also usually prescribes anti inflammatory drugs which give good relief from the pain. Very extreme cases, when he suspects that there will be further damage to the joints he may put into splints. It is not unknown that operation is also done in some cases. Arranging for physiotherapy, and help related to easing of strain due to work also may be arranged by the doctor.
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be prevented. Apart from the pain it causes, and the possible deformities at the joints, Rheumatoid arthritis has psychological effects on the affected person also. Any deformity on any part of the body is cause for anyone to be going into a state of depression. Another troublesome feature of Rheumatoid arthritis is alternating its attacks and remissions.
Operation of the affected parts and their replacement has been developed and it will give a person much relief and mobility.