Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term inflammation of the joint tissue that can affect something beyond your joints. In a few people, the condition likewise can harm other parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and veins.
An immune system issue, rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system erroneously attacks your own body’s tissues.
Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis influences the lining of your joints, causing an excruciating swelling that can result in bone erosions and joint distortion.
The inflammation that is related to rheumatoid arthritis is the thing that can harm different parts of the body too. While new medicines have enhanced treatment choices drastically, serious rheumatoid arthritis can even now cause physical problems.
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Joint pain
- Joint tenderness
- Joint swelling
- Joint redness
- Joint warmth
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of range of motion
- Joint deformity
- Loss of joint function
Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to influence your smaller joints first, especially the joints that append your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.
As the disease advances, symptoms regularly spread to the wrists, knees, lower legs, elbows, hips and shoulders. Much of the time, symptoms occur in similar joints on the two sides of your body.
Rheumatoid joint pain can be hard to diagnose in its beginning periods on the grounds that the early signs and symptoms imitate those of numerous different illnesses. There is no blood test or physical finding to affirm the diagnosis.
During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she may likewise check your reflexes and muscle strength.
Blood tests may be requested such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies.
Imaging tests may also be requested such as x-rays, MRI and ultrasound tests.
There is no remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. However, ongoing studies show that resolution of symptoms is more probable when treatment starts early with medicines known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
If drugs fail to treat symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery such as synovectomy, tendon repair, joint fusion or total joint replacement.