Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hand

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints. It can affect the fingers, wrists, knees, hips, ankles, elbows and shoulders.

It is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks your own body tissue. In rheumatoid arthritis this happens when antibodies attack the lining of your joints. This leads to pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body such as muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What are the types of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are two main types of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Seropositive (Rheumatoid Factor Positive) RA

 This type of RA is the most common, and is characterized by a positive test for rheumatoid factor. This test measures antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues, and in this case, they attack the synovium—the tissue that lines joints and causes inflammation.

Seronegative (Rheumatoid Factor Negative) RA

This type of RA has similar symptoms as seropositive RA but does not have any rheumatoid factor in their blood. It is less common than seropositive RA, but still affects over one million people in the United States alone.

What are the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

It’s not always possible to know what caused your rheumatoid arthritis, but some of the most common causes include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Infections (such as strep throat or Lyme disease)
  • Stress and trauma
  • Overexertion of joints (such as from sports injuries)

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can damage the joints and cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. It affects the joints of the fingers, wrists, ankles, and knees.

The symptoms of RA include:

  • Stiffness in your joints that gets worse over time
  • Pain in your joints that gets worse over time
  • Joints that feels warm to the touch
  • Swelling around your joints
  • Warmth in your hands and feet

What are the risk factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The risk factors for RA include:

  • A family history of RA or other autoimmune diseases
  • Sex hormones (females are more likely to develop RA than males)
  • Age: You are more likely to develop RA after age 45.

Recommended Exercise

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What are the exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The best exercises for rheumatoid arthritis are ones that you can do at home. Here are some examples:

  • Yoga (especially restorative)
  • Tai chi
  • Pilates

Yoga (especially restorative) – Yoga is a great way to practice gentle movement and get your blood flowing again. It’s also an excellent way to learn how to breathe deeply and relax.

Tai chi – Tai chi is a slow, meditative form of exercise that is easy on the joints. It helps improve balance and coordination, release tension in the muscles, and reduce stress.

Pilates – Pilates involves controlled movements in order to strengthen your core muscles and improve posture. It also helps relieve tension from your joints.

What are the treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are several different treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, including:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These medications help relieve swelling, pain, and stiffness. They can be taken with or without food. You can take NSAIDs for a long time to treat your symptoms.

Other medications

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may need to take other medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic response modifiers (BRMs). DMARDs can slow down the progression of the disease and reduce pain and inflammation. BRMs cost a lot of money but have fewer side effects than DMARDs.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help improve muscle strength and range of motion, which helps you do everyday tasks like walking and climbing stairs. The goal is to make sure that you use your joints as much as possible without causing pain or stiffness in them.

Exercise

Exercise is an important part of managing rheumatoid arthritis because it helps maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion; improves circulation; lowers stress levels; reduces fatigue; improves overall mood; and strengthens bones by increasing bone density (which helps protect against osteoporosis).

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

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What brace is used for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are several types of braces and splints that can help reduce pain and improve the function of your joints:

  • Resting hand splints
  • Wrist supports
  • Finger splints
  • Special shoes and shoe inserts

Resting hand splints are used to keep the hand in a position that will relieve pressure on the affected joints.

Wrist supports are also used to relieve pressure on the wrist and help prevent deformity.

Finger splints can be used to help straighten bent fingers or support straightened fingers.

Special Shoes and shoe inserts can be prescribed to help relieve pain in the feet and legs caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Orthomed Shoulder Brace

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