One of the most common types of arthritis that people suffer from is rheumatoid arthritis.1 However, it’s symptoms are often misunderstood and ineffectively treated. Unlike osteoarthritis, this chronic inflammatory disorder is also an autoimmune disorder that commonly affects more than just your joints.2
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
This type of arthritis is most commonly triggered when the immune system malfunctions and most commonly affects the small joints of the wrist, hand and feet.3,4 There are mild, moderate, and severe forms of this disease, but over the long-term, it can cause serious and irreversible joint damage.
Who Develops Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Over 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and women are most at risk.5 An estimated one to three percent of women will develop the condition during their lifetimes. It’s most common to develop the condition between the ages of 40 and 60; however, younger adults and even children can develop it earlier in life too.3 Genetics, hormones, and the environment may play a role in whether the condition develops, as well as the overall condition of a body’s immune system.
What Body Parts Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect?
Although rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body, it is most common in the hands and feet. Because rheumatoid arthritis is also an autoimmune disorder, it occurs when the immune system attacks bodily tissues.3,4
This condition can also have a negative impact on the eyes, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and skin.6 There is no single test to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, and it can be difficult to detect because symptoms take time to develop and often mimic other joint diseases.
What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?
One of the most noticeable symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is morning stiffness, which is something that distinguishes this condition from osteoarthritis.3 The most common symptoms that a sufferer will feel are joint pain, swollen joints, limited range of motion, joint warmth, and limping.
Additionally, sufferers may also experience a lack of energy, low-grade fevers, and firm lumps that form around the hands and elbows. It is usually experienced in a symmetrical pattern across multiple joins, and it fluctuates in severity with periods of flares and remissions.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the pain and suffering associated with rheumatoid arthritis by controlling pain and lessening damage to the joints.3,4 It’s important to engage in low-impact aerobic exercises to keep your joints active while also reducing pressure on them. Good exercises for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers include walking and swimming.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are commonly prescribed for patients who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, along with anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs to reduce swelling, and painkillers.3,7 However, medications, especially when taken in combination with several others, come with a heightened risk of side effects and unwanted interactions.
JointFlex offers an alternative solution to relieving the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis with no known systemic side effects and no known drug interactions. By utilizing camphor as the active ingredient, this powerful cream provides fast-acting relief directly to the site of pain and gradually releases to allow for long-lasting relief.
In very serious cases, doctors may recommend surgery to help a joint work better and to reduce pain.3,4 To prevent the rapid progression of this disease, start making lifestyle changes now, such as balancing your levels of exercise and rest, lowering your stress levels, eating a healthy diet, and keeping up with regular doctor check-ups.
REFERENCES FOR JOINT PAIN RELATED TO RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
1. Rheumatoid arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis.
2. Dewing, K. A., Setter, S. M., & Slusher, B. A. (2012). Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis 2012: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. National Practitioner Healthcare Foundation. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.nphealthcarefoundation.org/media/filer_public/c0/d1/c0d118bc-16a4-4114-a5cc-69901adfb298/osteoarthritis_and_ra_2012.pdf.
3. Kontzias, A. (2017 July). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/rheumatoid-arthritis-ra.
4. Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rheumatoid-arthritis/.
5. Freeman, J. (2018 October 27). RA facts: What are the latest statistics on rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/ra/facts-and-statistics/.
6. Dunkin, M. A. More than just joints: How rheumatoid arthritis affects the rest of your body. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis/articles/rhemuatoid-arthritis-affects-body.php.
7. DMARDs overview. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/medication/drug-types/disease-modifying-drugs/drug-guide-dmards.php.
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