What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is the occurrence of arthritis in specific parts of the body, which includes the joints of the hands and the feet. What happens in this case is the immune system starts attacking the tissues of the body, mistaking them for antibodies. In the process, the joint lining is affected. Rheumatoid arthritis may spread to other areas such as eyes, blood vessels, skin, and lungs.
Who Is Prone To Rheumatoid Arthritis?
According to statistics, women have a greater chance of getting the disorder than men. Moreover, it is more prevalent in people over 40 years old. Also, if there is a family member with the disorder, the probability of you acquiring it increases. In America, there are around 0.6% people who are afflicted with the disorder.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are very apparent. There are the obvious swollen joints, and then, there is morning stiffness, which can last for quite a few hours. Moreover, there are bumps or rheumatoid nodules in the arms, just under the skin, that appear. The afflicted person might be feverish and get fatigued very easily, while experiencing a substantial amount of weight loss. The disorder usually begins by affecting the smaller joints of the body, then it spreads, and the severity of the symptoms also increases.
How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Treated?
While rheumatoid arthritis is not curable at this time, it can be controlled. Medications and therapies for RA include:
Surgery is performed where all medicine fails. It is also helpful in correcting deformities caused as a result of the disorder.
Can Topical Medications Be Used To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Since rheumatoid arthritis is incurable, the pain and inflammation are a constant battle. In order to fight them, topical medications can be very effective. However, ensure that you are not allergic to aspirin. Also, in case you are using blood thinners, it is advised that you contact your doctor to ask which creams are fine to use, and which ones to avoid.
In America, Pennsaid, Voltaren, and Motrin are some topical NSAIDs that are allowed to be used. In extreme cases, doctors may even prescribe topical medicines that have a numbing effect. Overall, topical medications can prove to be quite effective in easing the pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. They also do not come with a lot of side effects, as opposed to other drugs that are prescribed for the disorder.
Helmick, C.G, Felson, D.T., Lawrence, R.C. et al. (2008). Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Arthritis Rheumatology, 58(1), 15 – 25. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18163481.