If you’ve been recently diagnosed to have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), then there’s a good chance you want to find out more about rheumatoid arthritis signs, symptoms, and treatments. Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of autoimmune disease that can cause damage and joint pain throughout your body.
The joint damage caused by RA can happen on both sides of the body, so if you have a joint that’s affected in one of your legs or arms, then you’ll likely see the same problem in the other leg or arm too. This is how doctors tend to distinguish RA from other types of arthritis like osteoarthritis for instance.
Treatments for RA are the most effective when the problem is diagnosed early, so it’s important to make sure that you know the signs. In this article, we’ll be looking at the rheumatoid arthritis signs, symptoms and treatments so that you can be prepared for it.
The Symptoms and Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
RA is commonly recognized as a chronic or long-term disease marked by symptoms of pain or inflammation in the joints. These signs and symptoms are likely to occur during issues known as flare ups in your condition, and they might be worsened when you expose yourself to extreme hot or cold, or eat certain foods.
The symptoms of RA are relatively simple, and are usually linked to joint swelling, joint stiffness, and joint pain. Depending on how severe your condition is, the symptoms can vary, and it’s important to speak to your doctor as early as possible to get a treatment that’s right for your circumstances.
Remember, simply knowing the rheumatoid arthritis signs, symptoms and treatments might not mean that you get an instant diagnosis. Finding out whether you suffer from RA can take some time as you will require various tests to confirm clinical findings. During an examination, your doctor will initially ask you about your medical history and symptoms. After that, a physical examination will be performed on your joints, and you will be asked to participate in a test of your muscle strength and reflexes.
Importantly, there’s no specific test available today that can exclusively confirm a diagnosis for rheumatoid arthritis, which means that you might end up undergoing a number of tests before you get the right diagnosis. You might have your blood tested for substances, such as antibodies, and reactants can be found that suggest the presence of RA.
In some circumstances, an examination might even include imaging tests. Some x-ray exams and MRIs can show whether there is damage in your joints as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, and how severe that damage is. A complete monitoring and evaluation of other organ symptoms can be useful for people with RA too.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Chances are that when it comes to looking into the rheumatoid arthritis signs, symptoms and treatments, your biggest concern will be how you can bring the problems with this condition down to a minimum using lifestyle changes and medications. Importantly, there is currently no known cure available for rheumatoid arthritis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t reduce the discomfort you feel with some careful strategies.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis can help to manage the pain you experience and control your inflammatory response, which can result in remission in many cases. Decreasing the inflammation in your system can also mean that you end up reducing your risk of further complications caused by RA, like organ damage and joint damage.
There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for RA, but most treatment strategies will include a combination of dietary changes, exercise routines, home remedies, and medications. Your medical professional or healthcare team will often work alongside you to try and determine the best types of treatments for your condition. For most people, this will mean that you can continue to live a happy and normal life, with reduced risks of complications.
Medications for Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis:
When it comes to understanding rheumatoid arthritis signs, symptoms and treatments, it’s worth noting that there are many different medications out there that might be able to help you. Some of these medications have been specifically designed to reduce the inflammation and pain commonly associated with RA, while others are designed to limit the amount of damage RA can do to the joints.
Most of the common medications for reducing pain include acetaminophen, corticosteroids, and NSAIDS. There are also disease modifying antirheumatic medications that work to block the immune response in the body to slow down the progression of RA. On the other hand, you could consider taking biologic drugs that provide a targeted bodily respond to help reduce inflammation, instead of stopping the entire immune system, which can be dangerous.
Ultimately, you’ll need to speak to your doctor about which option is the best for you according to your specific condition.
Home Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
While there are many medications available to help with rheumatoid arthritis and the symptoms it can cause, it’s worth noting that there are also useful home remedies and lifestyle adjustments that you can make when it comes to improving quality of life when you have RA.
For example, low-impact exercises can be very useful in helping you to improve the range of motion throughout your joints and boost your mobility level. Exercises that are carefully designed to suit your needs can also strengthen your muscles, which sometimes relieves the pressure around your joints so that you don’t have to worry so much about long-term joint damage.
Additionally, it’s important for people who suffer from RA to get plenty of rest, as flare ups can become more common when you’re already suffering from exhaustion. If you’re struggling to get rest because of the pain, you could always try applying cold or ice packs to reduce the inflammation. Cold and hot alternative treatments can often be useful too.
In certain conditions, you may even find that specific devices like braces and splints can hold your joints in the right position when you’re suffering from RA. This can reduce inflammation and help you to maintain mobility during flare ups. You can also install various devices around the home like grab bars to offer extra support.