How to manage RA? Self-care tips for the relief of RA symptoms
RA causes inflammation and can lead to further damage to the human body. Here we show why and how to get the relief.
As we have already noted, RA is a disease which targets the body’s joints. Do wonder why your joints might feel so swollen and achy?
As Howard Blumstein, M.D. (a rheumatologist at Rheumatology Associates of Long Island, NY) says, «RA is a type of arthritis, when the body’s immune system targets itself» .
The result of it is damaging inflammation and swollen joints.
Although RA symptoms can hurts both physically and emotionally, there is some research proving that the pain relief can be achieved.
Let’s take a look at RA inflammation, which joints in the body are most likely to experience swelling, plus therapy methods which are used to help curb both.
What Drives RA Inflammation?
While the cause of RA is still not fully understood, researchers and doctors do have a few likely suspects, in particular, smoking and certain genetic factors are among risk factors. Beyond smoking and/or having a genetic predisposition, inflammation can also be caused by environmental triggers, viral infections, hormones, stress and diets.
Hallmark symptoms of RA inflammation include pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, especially in the small joints—think your hands, wrists, and knees.
What Areas of the Body Does RA Target?
Although its known that RA might affects the lungs, eyes, nerves, heart, and skin, here are parts of the human body which rheumatoid arthritis most often targets, causing swelling and pain in the body:
- Elbows and Wrists
The hands are one of the most common places RA can affect. Accordingly to clinical studies in 90% of RA patients, the disease effects on the joints of the hand that led to problems in performing everyday activities like simply opening doors or doing laundry. In the hands, RA causes swelling; loss of motion; pain and redness in the wrists, knuckles and the first joints of the fingers.
«RA commonly affects the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the elbows and wrists» says Dr. Makol, «It causes pain and stiffness, which is often most prominent in the morning and after periods of inactivity.»
Like the hands, RA targets feet in a similar fashion, says Dr. Blumstein. Inflammation there affects the metatarsophalangeal joints. «In some cases, the foot symptoms may precede hand symptoms, which is why a rheumatologist will often request foot X-rays along with hand X-rays when diagnosing a person with RA in order to detect damage,» he explains. RA can also attack the small joints in the feet.
«When we see a patient whose knees have been affected by RA, we usually see impact on all three joints in the knee—the medial, lateral, and patellofemoral joint space—which is different from osteoarthritis [or regular arthritis], which would typically only involve one or two joint spaces,» says Dr. Blumstein, «This may result in difficulty walking, climbing stairs, and getting out of chairs, especially low seating positions», he adds.
«Ankles are commonly affected, with swelling of the [ankle] joints associated with severe pain and stiffness,» says Dr. Huffstutter, «As the patient moves during the day, the pain and stiffness improves.»
How Is RA Joint Swelling Treated?
Joint swelling is one example of a complex inflammation RA causes. Your doctor, probably, will focus on treating inflammation, rather than on treatment of the specific swollen joint. Thankfully, you have options when it comes to treating RA.
You might be offered:
- analgesics, to manage the pain;
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (for inflammation). «Unlike analgesics, which just affect pain levels, these medications also can reduce other symptoms of RA like joint swelling and stiffness,» adds Dr. Blumstein.
- biologics. Biologics are drugs that are derived from living organisms that target the immune system to decrease inflammation.
Beside drug-related methods of RA therapy there is PEMF Therapy Devices which have «truly revolutionized the ability to control the inflammatory response in RA,» – says some practitioners. ALMAG ACTIVE by ELAMED can be used as an essential part of the complex treatment and as a self-acting device.
Can Lifestyle Changes Reduce Joint Swelling in RA?
Making dietary, exercise, health habits can help you to reduce RA symptoms along with medication intake and physician therapy. ELAMED provides you with PEMF Therapy Devices which can be used in the latest method of RA treatment .
You may find a measurable relief by placing the device on inflamed joints. Clinical studies prove that ALMAG ACTIVE helps to reduce inflammation and increase joint function.