Rheumatoid Arthritis

The joints that connect the bones in various parts of the body are responsible for the movements that we perform. Most of us often overuse our joints because of work or sports activities, as a result, they may feel pain or are susceptible to further injury. Arthritis is a series of conditions with symptoms arising from pain or inability of a specific joint for movement. Two of the most common types of this condition are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a dangerous pain sticking disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can de defined as an autoimmune and chronic disease, which is caused by the inflammation of the lining or synovium of the joints. It is called a chronic disease because it can has brutal effects on the body of the person including long term damage, chronic pain and may even lead to disability and loss of functions of the body part. As an autoimmune disease, the cells responsible for defending the body from infection, mistakes certain normal tissues to be infected, and attacks them. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, immune cells destroy the cells comprising the synovium, or the protective tissue lying between two bones in a joint. When this happens, painful friction can be felt with the slightest movement of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis may have its affect on other parts of the body in spite of having its affect on the joints; these parts may be eyes, skin, lung, heart, blood or nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects persons from 25 years old up to 55 years old.


Any person suffering from arthritis has great difficulty in commencing with normal activities or movement. In more serious cases, especially in older people, they are unable to walk without assistance, and are more likely to get injured.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are reflected by the structure and changes in the appearance of the particular body part. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:

Pain in the body joints

Swelling in the affected area.

Stiffness, in the morning time in particular, or after sitting for long periods.


If the arthritis occurs in the hands, a person feels intense swelling that eventually leads to numbness. If not treated immediately, the joints, along with the bones, may get damaged further, causing it deteriorate. This will prevent the joint from being movable again.

If rheumatoid arthritis attacks the synovium at the knee, most people feel squeaks whenever they try to bend the joint. When left untreated, walking eventually becomes a painful and laborious task. Straightening of the knee becomes almost impossible, and movements are very limited.

The effects of rheumatoid arthritis are found to be different in each person. In one person, it may develop almost instantly or without the delay with rapid growth. On the other side in some people it may take several years to grow but when it gets there it shows up its symptoms. Some people may have it for a shorter period of time and after that time they may enter into the remission phase of the disease but some people may have it for longer periods.


The exact causes of rheumatoid arthritis, like too many other medical reasons, are still unknown. It is thought, yet it is not sure, that rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the combination of genetic, environmental and hormonal factors. It is thought that with rheumatoid arthritis something is triggered in the immune system of the body, which directs the immune system to attack the joints of the body and other organs of the system.


When the immune system is once triggered, it sends its cells to the joints of the body where these cells target the joints by producing an inflammatory material. As the number of cells and the amount of inflammatory substance increases it causes problems like irritation, swelling and inflammation of the joint lining and thus results in the rheumatoid arthritis in the joints of the body. The space between the bones is reduced to the destruction of cushioning material in the bones. The bones now rub against each other and cause pain and swelling which is very sensitive to the touch.


Different types and numbers of factors do the diagnosis of the rheumatoid arthritis. These factors can be stated as follows:

The exact location and the symmetry of painful joints, especially the hand joints of the body.

Stiffness in the joints in the morning time.

Bumps and nodules found under the skin.

X-rays test result that suggests that the person has rheumatoid arthritis.

Blood tests.

There are over the counter pain killers that help alleviate the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, but not necessarily the cure for making the condition go away. Medical treatments and possible surgery might be required. In the meantime, capsaicin creams and ibuprofen can be safely used at home.

Rheumatoid arthritis on the knee area can be treated with arthroscopic surgery.
Arthroscopic surgery involves making a small incision or hole near the joint, and inserting a small camera into it to view the condition of the joint from the inside. When the problem area is detected, the cartilage or damaged tissues are sewn together or replaced depending on the extent. Knee replacement surgery is done in a similar fashion. But in this case, all the damaged cartilage and tissues between the knee joints are completely removed. They are replaced by synthetic polymer material that holds the joints more firmly. After a few weeks of physical therapy, a patient is able to walk normally.

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