What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

johncris By johncris, 20th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/25thxsrs/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Rheumatoid arthritis is known for its painful sensation and stiffness that frequently occurs for several hours.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that inflamed the synovial tissue resulting to proliferative synovitis. Thus cause destruction of surface of articular cartilages and underlying bone. It is frequently common to women compare to men, affecting .3 percent to 5 percent of general population. The prevalence is increase with age in all groups. Unfortunately, there is no known cause of rheumatic arthritis, or termed as idiopathic. There may be a genetic predisposition of this disease.

As the antigen enters the body, two lymphocytes called T cells and B cells combat with the antigen, that resulting autoimmune reaction. Proliferation of T – and B – cell in the synovial membrane caused swelling that associated with painful sensation and stiffness as well. A major white blood cell called neutrophil, triggered to accumulate in synovial fluid, producing much pain that decrease the joint motion with possible appearance of nodules. As our body react to inflammation, it release a destructive enzymes and prostaglandin resulting to above symptoms. Synovial infection or synovitis is a worst infection associated with rheumatoid arthritis, where physical signs and symptoms may become severe leading to joint instability and contractures.

Clinical Manifestation

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary are vary from its stages and severity. The usual classical signs includes: joint pain, warmth, swelling, erythema, and lack of joint function. A spongy joint is usually reveals upon palpation. At the early course of the disease, small joints, hands, wrist, and feet are usually affected. In late stage, knees, shoulders, hips, elbows, ankles, and cervical spine are bilaterally or symmetrically affected. Joint pain and stiffness occurs usually in the morning lasting at least 30 to 45 minutes. Contractures may also occur due to long period of immobilization, leaving a soft tissue deformity. Rheumatic arthritis is a systemic disease, the manifestation not only focus in the joints. Other clinical signs are fever, anemia, lymph node enlargement, weight loss, fatigue and Raynaud’s phenomenon (vasospasm of the arteries and arterioles in the fingers and toes).

Treatment


There are two forms of approaches used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the pharmacological approached and surgical approached. However, non pharmacological approached has been commonly used as primary action to treat the disease. These include education of the disease, weight reduction, range of motion exercise, and use of assistive device to prevent from injury. If these modalities do not work, medication such as modifying antirheumatic drugs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to modify and alleviate signs of pain. The long term used of NSAID’s or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs caused lot of adverse reaction like gastric bleeding, fluid retention, and kidney damage. When synovitis doesn’t respond to medication, synovectomy is performed to reduce pain. Total joint replacement or arthroplasty is also performed to reduce symptoms and improve joint function.

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Comments

author avatar Carol
20th Aug 2010 (#)

Thanks for the info.

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