Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a potentially debilitating form of arthritis that affects more than 1.3 million Americans and 1 percent of the population worldwide. The condition is considered an autoimmune disease because instead of protecting the body by making it immune to outside forces, it attacks healthy tissue for unknown … Read More
Sore, stiff joints are one of the most common afflictions that come with age. Arthritis in its various forms affects more than 50 million American adults. The disease can reflect a degenerative process?a wearing away of the protective cartilage that cushions the connections between bones, such as in osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type. Or it can be due to inflammation inside the body, such as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the joints.
No matter what form you have, arthritis symptoms are typically the same: pain, stiffness, swelling, loss of motion, and deformity in the joint. The longer the disease progresses and the more the cartilage wears away, the worse arthritis symptoms become.
Pain in the joints is the main symptom of both OA and RA. That pain can range from mild to severe, but it will usually increase with activity. Arthritis is a progressive disease. Left untreated, arthritis symptoms will get worse over time. As the joint cushioning wears away, you might notice a popping or cracking, the sound of bone rubbing against bone. The irritation from this motion causes the joint to swell up and become red and tender to the touch. Arthritis pain and stiffness can reduce your range of motion, making it more difficult to do your daily activities, from climbing stairs to exercising. Eventually, the damage will lead to permanent changes?knobs that stick out from the bone and deform your fingers and other joints.
Treatment for OA aims to reduce pain and stiffness, and slow down its progressive joint destruction. OA therapies include exercise, physical therapy, and medicines to reduce pain. Weight loss can take some of the pressure off painful joints. If all other treatments fail, surgery is an option. For RA, disease-modifying drugs slow the progression of joint damage and may stall or prevent the need for surgery.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that approximately 52.5 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout. Arthritic diseases may be mild in some people but can be debilitating … Read More
The heel of the foot is sometimes called the "hindfoot," and people understandably think of it first as a bone, also called the calcaneus. But there are actually many different types of tissue that make up the heel. Disorders of any of these tissues and the structures they form can … Read More
The evidence is far from compelling, but a product called arthritis gloves may reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hands caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
There are several varieties of arthritis gloves, each designed to address different arthritis symptoms. Thermal gloves increase circulation and keep the hands warm. Compression gloves … Read More
Old sports injuries. Repetitive stress. Swollen joints from "rheumatism." Whatever the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms you may be experiencing, the next strategy is to come up with ways to beat it. Options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) treatment range from prescribed medications to simple Read More
Fruits provide slow-digesting carbs, various types of fiber, and a host of vitamins, including A, C, E, and K plus several B vitamins. Fruits also provide many important minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper, along with a cornucopia of phytochemicals. Among plant … Read More
There’s no way around it: As time passes, we tend to lose muscle mass, our organs tend to function less efficiently, and our risk of disease increases. The good news is that there is a lifestyle change we can make to mitigate these risks, and it involves exercise—particularly Read More
Tai chi is a Chinese phrase that means extreme opposites. In English, the best word to conceptualize its meaning is simply balance. One can achieve tai chi in any action, thought, … Read More
In the vast majority of people with psoriasis, the skin disease precedes the arthritis, but 10 to 15 percent of people will have both skin and joint symptoms. Having the skin disease does not guarantee that you’ll develop psoriatic arthritis; in fact, only 15 percent of people with … Read More