Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disorder which attacks tissues, bones muscles, internal organs and synovial joints, it can cause inflammation and damage to cartilages. The exact reason of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown but auto-immune disorder plays an important role in its intensity and progression. Auto-immunity disorder causes immunity system attacking healthy tissues of the body as it does to invading infections affecting joints, internal organs, blood vessels and bones of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a disabling and painful condition which may cause substantial loss of mobility of joints and their functioning, it is more prevalent in women compared to men.
A joint in the human body is a point where two bones meet with their ends covered by cartilages and synovial fluid between them. These bones are held at proper place by the ligaments and muscles attached to these bones help in moving the joints by contraction and expansion. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation, pain, stiffness and redness in the joints. It can also affect the tissues around the joints and can damage muscles, tendons and ligaments. In some cases chronic rheumatoid arthritis damages cartilages, ligaments and bones causing deformation of the joint. The disease is progressive and damage caused to the joints does not correlate with pain, swelling and stiffness.
The reason for rheumatoid arthritis is unknown though bacterial, viral and fungal infections are doubted for it. Environmental factors and genetics are also believed to initiate this disease in susceptible individuals. The stiffness, redness and swelling of joints are initial symptoms particularly in the morning or after the period of inactivity. These symptoms are accompanied by lethargy, fatigue, lack of appetite, joint aches and low fever. The symptoms of RA are evident when disease is active while they subside on their own or by treatment when disease gets inactive.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease and progression of this disease can cause inflammation to other organs of the body. Voice turning hoarse, drying of mouth and eyes are few problems caused by aggravation of RA. It can also cause swelling in the lining of lungs causing pain while deep breathing, shortness of breath and coughing. Carpal tunnel syndrome, vasculitis and reduction in the number of white blood cells are other problems caused by the progression of RA.
There is no known cure of rheumatoid arthritis the focus of the treatments is to reduce the inflammation, control the progression of disease, improve mobility of joints, strengthening of joints and preventing joint deformity. Usually allopathic treatment treats the problem by anti-inflammatory and pain reducing drugs with other disease controlling drugs and medicines. Alternate treatments are also helpful in reducing pain and inflammation along with prolonging the remissions of the disease. Exercises and therapies are also used to increase joint movement during flares of the disease and controlling joint destruction. Dietary changes and stress free healthy life style also enhances the effects of the treatment. Proper treatment and exercises together help in keeping the remission of the disease long and also it helps in slowing down its progression.