Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

 Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation with symptoms of swelling and pain.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis will usually vary from one person to another however, they start to appear slowly and come and go over time.

Symptoms:

Some common symptoms are:

– Stiffness

– Irritability and Tiredness

– Swelling and Joint Pain

– Lumps on Hands and Feet or Below Elbows

– Symptoms That Resemble the Flu

– Anaemia

Your symptoms can have flareups and become worse than usual.

Diagnosis:

Rheumatoid arthritis can be hard to diagnose due to the variety of symptoms experienced by patients. The diagnosis is confirmed by doctors, physical examinations as well as blood tests and x-rays. The blood tests you undergo for diagnosis may be utilised again in the future to determine the current state of your arthritis.

Treatment:

Various treatments can be applied for rheumatoid arthritis, however, there is currently no cure. The treatments applied will help to keep joint damage low and slow down the condition. The treatments will vary with a combination of medicine, surgery and rheumatology physiotherapy.

There are many things you can do for yourself to aid in your treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:

1. Utilise aerobic low impact activities to improve your general health such as cycling or tai chi.

2. Increase your muscle strength and optimise your joint health through exercise

3. Your myotherapist will prescribe activities and training programs that will improve both your health, functionality and reduce your pain.

When treating your rheumatoid arthritis, a high-quality remedial massage from your trained myotherapist can provide great relief to your muscles. The benefits of remedial massage for rheumatoid arthritis will vary from person to person however they tend to include increased circulation, decreased pain, improvement in sleep and decreased muscle stiffness!

When self-treating your rheumatoid arthritis, managing anxiety and stress can help control your painful symptoms. Particularly with muscle relaxation techniques or pilates, yoga and other activities such as tai chi! With these activities, you can strengthen your body whilst de-stressing your muscles and joints.

Heat and ice therapy is very effective in treating your rheumatoid arthritis. The heat works to stimulate blood circulation and reduce muscle tension. Using heat early in the day can be a fantastic way to reduce discomfort and stiffness in your joints.

Ice reduces the inflammation of joints and muscles by preventing fluids from leaking into surrounding tissue and constricting the blood vessels. You should ice your joints after any significant activity or at the end of the day. This can minimise the inflammation resulting from daily activities.

One of the best ways to manage your rheumatoid arthritis pain is through having well-balanced sleeping habits. A poor sleep environment, pattern or position can increase your symptoms and pain greatly. Addressing this can be a wonderful way to manage your symptoms!

Surgery:

Unfortunately, surgery can occasionally be required for rheumatoid arthritis. This can include tendon surgery, injections or in some extreme cases, the replacement of joints. Surgery usually provides a very positive outcome. It is highly recommended to seek professional healthcare advice if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Recovery: 

Your daily activities and habits will greatly influence the symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis. If you overexert yourself you may experience increased symptoms and pain, whilst low activity can cause similar difficulties. If you are able to learn to pace your activities and manage your exercise and lifestyle, you will be able to achieve more with lessened discomfort and pain!

Your trained myotherapist will be able to reduce muscle stiffness and decrease your pain. Other benefits include increased circulation and improvement in the quality of sleep.

Massage can also reduce stress and depression!