Online Buzz: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—a chronic form of arthritis—is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Compared to other types of arthritis, RA typically affects both sides of the body. Symptoms include painful, swollen joints (that may appear red and warm); stiffness in the morning or after long periods of sitting; and fatigue. Affected joints can eventually lose their range of motion and become deformed.
Women are two to three times more likely to get RA. However, men generally experience more severe cases than women. Although the joint illness usually occurs in middle age, its onset also can occur in the elderly or young children.
RA affects each person differently. For some individuals, it develops gradually; for others, it progresses quickly, and some can experience a remission period. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but genes, infection, hormones and environmental factors are suspected links.
Early, aggressive treatment of RA can help prevent joint degeneration. Treatment may include medications and physical therapy. Exercise is a very important part of managing the disease. (Read "Exercise Is the No. 1 Prescription for Arthritis" to learn about the most commonly prescribed types of physical activity.)
|Could the foods we eat help prevent joint deterioration? Could some foods make joint pain worse? Learn more in the Right at Home blog, where you will always find the latest news affecting the home care industry. We welcome your comments about family caregiving and home care. || |
Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care services.