Rheumatoid Arthritis - Cause, Symptoms and Chiropractic Care

by Administrator 24. January 2010 13:07

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory, systemic disease. It is an auto-immune disorder which causes inflammation of the joints and is more common in females.

Causes - Cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is unknown however there are certain risk factors. Some of these risk factors include

  • Genetic Susceptibility
  • Environmental factors
  • Immune system dysfunction – Rheumatoid Arthritis is a autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system starts making antibodies against the body tissues. In this disease the immune system mistakes the healthy tissue for a foreign invader and starts attacking the healthy tissue of the body. The various risk factors are thought to be triggers for the dysfunction of the immune system.
  • Infections - Some researchers believe that the various infections may also act as the trigger for the immune system. Though RA is not contagious, still it’s thought to be associated with infectious diseases.

Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Initial symptoms include pain, warmth, swelling and redness around the affected joint.
  • The inflamed joints release enzymes that destroy the cartilage and bone. This causes loss of movement and deformity in the joints.
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Stiffness in the joints especially in the morning or after prolonged sitting

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease that becomes more active at times followed by some period of remission or disease inactivity.

Diagnosis is made on the basis of

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Clinical symptoms
  • Certain lab tests like – ESR, C-Reactive Proteins, RA factor in the blood, antinuclear antibodies in the blood.

Chiropractic Care For Rheumatoid Arthritis

A. Advice on lifestyle modifications

  • Safety measures at home since due to deformity in the joints patients are more prone to falls
  • Active lifestyle
  • Regular exercises
  • Adequate rest

B. Advice on the assistive devices like walking aids splints that may ease pressure on the joints and also to minimize the deformity in the joints.
C. Range of motion exercises
D. Strengthening exercises of the muscles around the involved joints.

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