Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy
Millions of people seek rheumatoid arthritis therapy for the relief of pain associated with this acute form of arthritis or joint inflammation that affects over two million Americans. Of this number, about seventy five percent of the sufferers are women and the disease usually begin the ages of thirty and sixty, but children are not immune from this affliction either. This disease is thought to shorten the life expectancy of its sufferers caused by heart disease or lymphoma. It is called an autoimmune disease because the patient's own immune cells attack his own healthy tissues. There is no single cause that has been identified for this type of arthritis but there is some evidence leading some medical experts to suggest a genetic link that is triggered by some physical events in the body.
Over one hundred different types of joint inflammation are known to the medical community. Those persons seeking rheumatoid arthritis therapy must deal with a set of symptoms that are somewhat unique to arthritis sufferers. While those with arthritis usually wake up in the morning with stiffness or pain in the joints, those with the rheumatoid variety usually take about forty five minutes to finally have relief from the pain or stiffness. Sufferers from the osteo type usually improve in about half an hour. Fibromyalgia sufferers also have many of the same symptoms but often their stiffness may last for a number of hours.
Many experts in the field of RA advise persons who believe they have the disease seek early help. Early medical intervention can help mitigate joint damage and give the sufferer an opportunity to do the things needed to help maintain mobility for as long as possible. Rheumatoid arthritis therapy usually is a combination of medical, social and emotional support for the one who has RA and because there seems to be no known cure. Rheumatoid arthritis therapy that is a combination of all these treatments is aimed at helping to reduce the suffering the person has while helping the patient to maintain some semblance of normal life. Therapies include medication, physical therapy and sometime surgical intervention.
The medical therapy that is applied to the victims of RA includes a whole new field of drugs called biologics. They include the brand names Enbrel, Humira, Kineret, Remicade, Rituxan and Orencia. These products are all genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes. They are designed to help reduce the inflammation of the joints. Since it is the immune system that actually attacks the joints causing such havoc, these drugs only address only the portion of the immune system that affects the joints. With this breakthrough in pharmacology, it is hoped that there are lesser overall side effects of the drug treatment. While orally taken drugs appear to be on the horizon, these medications for RA are only inject able but have become a vital part of the rheumatoid arthritis therapy approach to wellness..
Both physical therapy and occupational therapy can be part of the treatment for RA. Physical therapy is designed to assist in the making overall movements that are needed for mobility to be less pain free and occupation therapy is meant to help with the little things people do every day at work or at home. Rheumatoid arthritis therapy from physical therapists may include things such as stretching, massage, exercise that is designed around one's fitness level and ice and heat applications at strategic times.
Occupational therapists are trained to spot unnecessary or redundant movement that a person is making in the workplace or at home, and then making recommendation to eliminate those redundancies. When activities that are routine at home or work become too painful to continue, an OT is usually sought for consultation. Devices that can assist sufferers of RA to help get in and out of showers, or help with cooking can either be designed by the OT or recommended. RA and its effects can certainly over take a person's life so that it and rheumatoid arthritis therapy becomes a primary focus. But Jesus gave a warning to all not to allow the cares of life or its many distractions to miss the signs of his return. "And take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (excesses) and drunkenness and cares of this life and so that day come upon you unawares." (Luke 21:34)
It does appear from recent government studies that the overall health of those suffering from RA are doing better, thanks to more enlightened and maybe even aggressive treatments that attempt to slow down the ravages of the disease earlier. Rheumatoid arthritis therapy may also include an introduction to a particular food diet to help slow down the effects of the disease on the patient, but most studies are inconclusive as to the actual positive effect of a particular diet. Of course a diet that helps a sufferer maintain a healthy weight can't help but curb the pressure on the knees and there is some interest in recent years on the positive nature of fish oil on joint health. Reading different articles online and in magazines will show a wide variety of opinions on the effects of certain foods such as grains, with some resources suggesting it's important to eat plenty of grains, while others suggest a grain free diet to mitigate glycation. While there are plenty of voices out there giving advice, the best source of coaching to handle RA is one's own physicians and those he or she recommends.
Rheumatoid Arthritis MedicationEffective rheumatoid arthritis medication can help individuals who suffer from this debilitating disease find welcome relief from the pain, stiffness and swelling that characterize such a serious malady. While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are a number of treatments that can be successful in alleviating symptoms and restoring mobility. Treatments may involve over the counter or prescription drugs. There are also a number of surgical options available. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by pain in the joints as well as stiffness and swelling. The pain and crippling effects of the disease can take a heavy toll on the patient's daily activities and overall quality of life. The first treatment that is usually recommended is rheumatoid arthritis medication. These drugs may be over the counter medications or they may require a doctor's prescription. A patient's physician will make recommendations based on how far the disease has progressed and the level of pain that the patient is experiencing. For some, over the counter non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, will be suggested. Some drugs will be effective in relieving pain while others are utilized to address such issues as inflammation and swelling.
A physician may also prescribe a rheumatoid arthritis medication that will modify the impact of the disease on the patient's body. These drugs are called disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs, or DMARDs. Such medications can be used to control the symptoms and damage that this illness may cause. Some of these medications may be taken by mouth while others are administered by injection. Corticosteroids may be used periodically to reduce inflammation. Due to the side effects that these potent drugs can represent, they should be used sparingly and do not constitute a good choice as a long term answer. There are also a number of analgesic creams that can be applied directly to the afflicted joint. Generally, a rheumatoid arthritis medication will carry with it certain side effects. These side effects could include kidney problems, stomach bleeding, constipation, and irritation on the skin. For this reason, any medications that are taken to relief the pain, stiffness and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis should be done under the supervision of a skilled medical professional.
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis medication, there are a number of other treatment alternatives. For some patients, joint replacement surgery is the only option that can return them to mobility and an active life. These surgeries are very serious and can involve a long recovery process. Post surgery physical therapy will usually be required as well. When successful, the patient will find relief for pain and will, as healing and physical therapy progresses, regain the use of the joint. Physicians will surgically remove the patient's natural joint that has been damaged over the years by arthritis and will replace it with an artificial joint. These new joints are amazingly strong and can function as well as a natural joint. Over time, the artificial joint may need to be replaced. This is particularly true if the patient is somewhat young when the original surgery takes place. But most patients will attest to the fact that the procedure and recovery process was well worth the pain and effort. The ability to return to a normal life that is free from the pain of a severely damaged arthritic joint is treasured by those who have suffered from the effects of this crippling disease.
For some patients, the tendons may have been damaged in addition to the joints. When this is the case, surgical restoration may be in order. The most common joints to need this treatment are the joints of the hand. Patients who undergo this surgery will still need to take rheumatoid arthritis medication . A less frequently utilized surgical treatment is the synovectomy. This procedure is used to remove inflamed synovial tissues. The reason that this procedure is not done as frequently as joint replacement or tendon repair is that it can be very difficult to remove all of the damaged synovial tissue. Any tissue that is left behind is very likely to grow back. However, synovectomies may be done as part of a reconstructive surgical procedure. While these procedures can be very painful, they can make a profound and positive difference in the life of an individual who also utilizes rheumatoid arthritis medication. In the Bible, believers are admonished to love and help even their enemies. "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." (Luke 6:35)
Another type of rheumatoid arthritis medication is called the biologic response modifier. These drugs seem to carry a good deal of promise since they are regarded as causing much less in the way of side effects and harm to the body. By working to block certain proteins that have been known to trigger inflammation, the hope is to control the progress of rheumatoid arthritis. Under normal circumstances, inflammation can be a helpful reaction that is one of the body's natural defenses. For those who are dealing with arthritic symptoms, this natural defense mechanism is actually harming the patient. Medications that block such activity can help to keep symptoms and damage under control. With the help of knowledgeable medical professionals and effective medications, a patient can find relief from the difficult limitations of this disease.