Do you often feel throbbing pain in your joints which grows worse in the mornings and after sitting for too long? If yes, you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. So, if you are experiencing fatigue, loss of energy, stiffness of joints, etc. it is time for you to be cautious.
Let us have a quick look at some of the signs that manifest you are suffering from this prevalent disease that affects your fingers wrists, ankles and feet.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: WHAT IS THIS?
To put it in simple words, it is a progressive disease that affects your body joints and leads to inflamed, painful joints. Sometimes, it results in deformity or immobility of joints. In this disease, immunity of the body is affected and it attacks the lining of the joints. The joints swell up, turn red and begin to pain. The disease begins with the minor symptoms only which begin to aggravate over weeks and months.
Tendons and ligaments hold our joints begin to grow weak, which results in deformity and immobility of joints.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
As such there is no peculiar cause of this disease, but yes, it affects the people who smoke or it could be hereditary. What triggers the process is still to be found. However, doctors are of the opinion that your genes make you vulnerable to the factors that cause the disease. Your defective inherited genes make you susceptible to the infection of microbes and the disease gets triggered.
SYMPTOMS THAT INDICATE YOU HAVE RA:
If you suspect you have RA, look for these symptoms:
Injuries Do Not Heal:
If you have sprained joints that take too long to heal and pain constantly, take this as an alarming sign. This could be a manifestation of RA.
Hands Tingle or Become Numb:
This sensation turns worse in the night. The inflammation of your arms compresses the nerves going into your hands because of which you feel the tingling sensation both in the hands and wrists.
Inflammation in the Forefoot:
This is perhaps the first sign that indicates you have RA. Your forefeet become inflamed and begin to pain utterly. Sometimes, the pain is due to the swelling of tissues of the affected area. If you feel such type of pain you need to avoid wearing heels and see a doctor.
Dry Mouth, Eyes, Nose and Throat:
When you suffer from this autoimmune disease, your throat, skin, eyes and mouth tend to get dry. This happens because due to the inflammation in joints glands stop releasing moisture.
Acute Pain in Joints:
Most of the patients often think that is may be due to osteoarthritis, which becomes common in older age or due to overexertion but these achy joints normally lasts longer. The pain is felt in both the hands, ankles and knees. But the pain due to osteoarthritis goes in an hour or two, whereas the pain due to RA lasts for a week or so.
Joints Do Not Bend:
Joints swell and patients are not able to move the joints. This is so because tendons around the joints swell which in turn results in the cyst formation behind the knee and hampers motion.
Lumps begin to grow under the skin of the affected joints and normally they are seen at the back of the elbow, but this occurs only in the advanced stage of RA.
HOME REMEDIES THAT CURE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS:
There are plenty of home remedies and therapies which can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. With the help hydrotherapy, stress management techniques, acupuncture etc, you can tame the disease. So, alongside with the medications, you should be trying these home remedies also.
There is a range of motion exercises that helps in toning muscles and the affected joints. Walking is one of the most gentle and easily performed exercises. You can begin with walking slowly and increase the pace gradually. Swimming and water aerobics helps in alleviating pain. It is better to consult a physician before picking up any type of exercise. A number of hand exercises can be performed to improve the mobility of joints.
Applying Heat and Cold Packs:
When you apply cold or heat packs, you would be able to get a respite. Heat packs are used for relieving pain in the muscles. You can apply heat either by taking a hot shower for 15 minutes or by applying an electric heating pad (should be kept in the lowest settings.) Contrary to this, cold packs help in numbing the sensation of pain. You can also consider massaging the affected areas with the ice packs or drenching the painful areas in ice water. But, if your joints are numb due to poor circulation of blood, you should not try cold therapy.
To get a relief, patients can also get relieved by soaking the affected areas in warm water for 15-20 minutes and then in cold water for just a minute. This therapy proves to be really helpful. The hot and cold therapy is the most effective healing method of RA.
It comprises of a series of exercise. This is done to improve the mobility of joints because if the person suffers from RA the overall mobility gets affected. These sets of exercises reduce the pain and bring the patients back to their normal routine.
Yoga, meditation and stretching exercises all help. However, if you can manage the stress level and lead an active life you would be able to heal Rheumatoid Arthritis naturally.
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