How to deal with Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systematic autoimmune inflammatory disease and results in persistent inflammation of synovial tissue especially of the wrists, hands and feet. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are 8 times more likely to have functional disability compared with adults in the general population from the same community.
Although the chances of women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is higher than men, anyone can suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis onset is usually in middle age, it is most common in the elderly. However, children and young people may also suffer from the disease.
 
Common sign & symptoms:
  1. painful joints
  2. stiffness in the morning and after periods of inactivity
  3. joint swelling
  4. weakness
  5. fatigue (get tired easily)
  6. restricted joint mobility
  7. reduced function
Without treatment it can lead to irreversible damage, namely deformity and finally provoke considerable physical functional loss or even permanent disability. 
Thus, it can causes dramatic interference with quality of life if early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are not obtained.
 
Rehabilitative Treatment
At the present, there is no therapy that can completely heal RA. But there are treatments that achieve pain relief and the slowdown of the activity of RA to prevent disability and increase functional capacity.
  1. Joint Protection Strategies:
  • Rest & Splinting: Orthosis and splinting prevent the development of deformities and support joints.
  • Therapy Gloves: to control and manage hand pain, to maintain or restore the patient’s hand function, or to psychologically help to relax or calm the wearer. Wearing therapy gloves led to the improvement in hand grip strength. The glove can be worn during the day or at night. They are made of various materials: nylon, wool and elastane fibres.
  • Compression Gloves: moderate joint swelling and consequently reduce the pain
  • Assistive Devices and Adaptive Equipment: arrangements (like elevated toilet seats, etc) to facilitate activities of daily living
  1. Massage Therapy: improve flexibility and welfare (dimension of: depression, anxiety, mood and pain)
  2. Therapeutic Exercise:

  • Range Of Motion & stretching exercises : increases the mobility of the joint
  • strengthening: use light weights (hand griping exercise)
    important for stabilisation of the joint and prevention of traumatic injuries
  • aerobic condition exercises: improve the muscle endurance and aerobic capacity, for example: swimming, walking, cycling
  • routine daily activities

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