Monday, July 27, 2009

About Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

rheumatoid arthritisApproximately 1.3 million adults were living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to produce chemicals which attack its own tissues rather than protecting them. RA can flare when the immune system responds incorrectly to an infection or another external factor, causing the lining and other tissues around joints to become inflamed. Rheumatoid arthritis is sometimes called a systematic disease because it can affect other organs, not just the joints. A characteristic symptom of RA is inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, which can lead to permanent damage and deformity.

Many people who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis experience periods of pain and stiffness as well as periods of little to no symptoms. The symptoms of RA occur when the disease is active, and subside during periods of remission. Often, joints on both sides of the body are affected at the same time, for instance, both knees. Some symptoms that are commonly associated with the condition are stiffness (particularly in the morning or after rest), inflammation of the joints, reduced range of motion, pain, puffiness and even fever. Movement or pressure on the affected joints typically becomes more painful.

Since RA is a chronic condition with no cure, treatment programs are usually intended to help the affected person function with less pain while reducing the extent of long term damage that may occur as a result of the condition. Treatment is personalized by medical professionals for each patient with RA and is specific to his or her situation and lifestyle. Some methods used in the treatment of RA are:
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications

  • Medications to prevent or slow joint damage

  • Exercise

  • Weight loss

A recent development called the Jstim 1000® Therapy System utilizes a combination of compression and infrared heat designed to help alleviate the pain associated with RA of the hands. Research aimed at determining the cause, creating effective treatments and hopefully finding a cure for rheumatoid arthritis is ongoing.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading orthotic device supplier specializing in diabetic footwear including shoes and socks for diabetics as well as a full line of orthotic insoles.

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