Rheumatoid arthritis, or chronic inflammation of the multiple joints, is one of the most serious forms of rheumatological disease and is associated with a great deal of pain. In Hungary, it affects about 80-100 thousand people. Although the disease can rarely even relapse, unfortunately the condition of a large proportion of patients worsens over time.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting inflammation that affects joints at the same time. It is three times more common in women than in men.
The exact cause is not known. Both hereditary and external factors may contribute to its development. A combination of several factors increases the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. When congenital predisposition is combined with environmental and lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking, contraceptive use, stress, infections), it can be a direct route to this autoimmune disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by abnormal white blood cell function. They "think" parts of their own joint, the layer of cells covering the joint, are foreign and initiate a defence process. The body attacks its own cells and tissues (an autoimmune process), which causes inflammation and slowly destroys the joint.
During inflammation, the inner lining of the joint capsule becomes bloody, the joints swell, swell and become painful. And inflammatory enzymes gradually destroy the cartilage and bones in the joint.
The appearance of rheumatoid arthritis
The inflammatory process may start slowly and gradually, with morning stiffness and painful swelling of the joints of the hand (symmetrically on both sides), malaise and weight loss. However, it can also start immediately with severe pain, fever, swelling of the wrist, knee, shoulder and ankle joints, swelling of the hand and foot joints, and even inflammation that makes it impossible to walk.
It is important to seek medical advice as soon as you experience these symptoms. Although rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured according to the current state of medical science, early diagnosis and timely treatment can help to control the disease and maintain quality of life.
Suggestions for treatment
As mentioned above, rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, but there are several ways to manage it and there are also tools available to help patients to alleviate the pain associated with the disease.
In addition to medication prescribed by your doctor, it is important
- to exercise regularly to keep your joints moving;
- to maintain an ideal body weight, as excess weight puts extra strain on the joints;
- when the inflammation is dormant, warm therapy on the joints and warm mud wraps, paraffin wraps are very useful, as warmth can reduce pain and relax the ligaments and muscles;
- and in the case of flare-ups, cooling inflamed joints can relieve pain and muscle spasms
How to treat rheumatoid arthritis at home
Rheumatoid arthritis causes almost constant pain. However, the patient can rely on modern medical technology. Home-based physiotherapy devices can help improve quality of life.
- the TENS devices, as well as microcurrentdevices achieve pain relief by applying mild electrical pulses that last for hours;
- paraffin treatment is very effective for reducing rheumatoid arthritis pain;
- the ultrasound therapy devices provide pain relief through anti-inflammatory effects, with the additional benefit of rewarming the joint and loosening the joint ligaments. After 10 to 15 treatments, a break in treatments should be taken for a few months.
- The soft laser therapy devices have a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. It helps joint regeneration. The soft laser is one of the first choices for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
In this section we have collected devices and appliances that can be used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis