Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. This creates inflammation (Body’s response to injury) and results in warm, swollen, pain full joints and stiffness. The condition can damage a wide variety of body systems including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels also. It is sometimes called as rheumatoid disease
Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression
Stage 1: This is early stage rheumatoid arthritis. This stage involves initial inflammation in the joint and swelling of synovial tissue. This induces the clear symptoms of joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Stage 2: In the moderate stage, the inflammation of synovial tissue becomes severe and it causes cartilage damage. In this stage symptoms of loss of mobility and range of motion become more frequent.
Stage 3: At this stage it is considered severe rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation in the synovium is now destroying not only the cartilage of the joint as well as the bone. The symptoms of this stage include increased pain, swelling, decrease in mobility and muscle strength. Physical deformities on the joint may start developing at this stage.
Stage 4: In the end stage of rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammatory ceases and joints stop functioning. Pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of mobility are still the primary symptoms in this stage.
CAUSES, INCIDENCE, AND RISK FACTORS:
The cause of RA is unknown. It is an autoimmune disease, which means In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissue, including joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs
RA can occur at any age, but is more common in middle age. Women often get more affected by RA than men.
Infection, genes, and hormone changes may be linked to the disease.
RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected.
- Morning stiffness.
- Painful and swollen joints, especially hands, feet and knees.
- Difficulty in moving joints.
- Red, puffy hands
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain while taking a breath
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Eye burning, itching, and discharge
- Nodules under the skin
- Numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet.
- Sleep difficulties
- Loss of range of motion,
- Tender joints
- Loss of joint function
- Joint Redness
- Joint Warmth
- Joint Deformity
- Chest Pain while taking Breath.
DO’s And Don’ts (Life Style Modification)
- Routinely do gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.
- Keep your Posture of sitting, standing and moving correct.
- Balance the activities and take proper rest and don’t overdo any activity.
- Try Swimmingor water exercises in a temperature controlled pool as it will help in gaining muscle strength.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights. Instead of lifting, slide objects.
- Never make hurried movements, sudden changes in position and rapid movements increase strain on joints and worsen arthritis.
GOALS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY:
- Prevents deformity
- Prevents stiffness
- Decreases swelling
- Increases ROM
- Improves pain through advanced modalities
- Reduces inflammation.
- Reduces spasm
- Reduces tightness.
- Increases strength : resisted band exercises
- Alignment correction through manual therapy.