Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis, after osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the cells around the joints, which leads to pain and swelling of the joints. Hands, feet and wrists are often affected and it make carrying out day to day tasks difficult. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and bad periods are known as flare-ups.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms can also be experienced which do not involve the joints, such as:
- anaemia and tiredness,
- small painless lumps on the arms,
- weight loss,
- muscle aches and pains
In rare cases there can be complications such as carpal tunnel syndrome, causing pain, numbness and tingling in hands and fingers, and inflammation of the heart, lungs and eyes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in 40 to 70 year olds, but can affect people of any age. It is more common in women, although the reason for this is not known. Unfortunately although doctors understand that RA symptoms are a result of the immune system attack, it is not yet known what prompts this attack. It is believed it may be caused by viruses or bacteria, but more research is needed, and until the cause is known there is no cure.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis
There is not yet a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis but early treatment can reduce the severity and complications from the disease. Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are commonly prescribed, to reduce damage to joints.
Tower Health's - natural pain relief treatments
Some arthritis sufferers use complimentary treatments such as Tower Health's muscle and joint gel, or complementary therapies such as massage or acupuncture. Stretching and physiotherapy can help maintain the joints.
Electronic pain relief such as (TENS) therapy can also help with pain relief. The Pain Gone Pen stocked by Tower Health is one option and is clinically tested, guaranteed and has been used by RA sufferers to relieve their pain.