Rheumatoid arthritis is a slowly progressive disease that there is no cure for. The disease attacks your joints causing pain and swelling. Even though there is no cure at this time there are several medications that are offering increased effectiveness at fighting the progression of the disease process. Although none of them can reverse the effects, they do reduce the symptoms and force the disease to slow down.
The normal signs and symptoms of RA are:
Stiffness :: Especially in the morning. People with RA may take several hours to feel as if their joints are loose enough to function properly.
Swelling :: Fluid fills your joints causing the stiffness to be worse.
Pain :: The swelling in the joints makes them tender and sensitive to touch and movement.
Redness and Warmth :: The joints become red and warm to the touch when they are swollen.
These are the symptoms that are in your joints. RA can affect your whole body by causing fatigue, a general malaise (feeling ill), loss of appetite, and muscle aches. It is hard to live with many of these symptoms. Occasionally, in the early stages, RA is misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or vice versa. The swelling and pain will begin to interfere with your daily life in your Capitola home, and the work that you do. There are some common coping mechanisms people use to deal with all of this.
Usually the first thing that people do is slow down at work. You may type fewer words per minute, take more breaks from the work that causes the pain. Not real breaks, but short time-outs where you rub your hands or the affected joint. If it is your knees, you will begin to walk more slowly and stiffly, taking great amounts of time to climb and descend stairs.
Next, you will find yourself avoiding activities that cause you pain: knitting, sewing, and golf. The fun things in life that brought you joy for years are now too painful to deal with. Finally, you decide to see your doctor. You know it has to be arthritis, but what kind and what treatments are there?
The first thing your doctor will tell you is that he is going to recommend medication and physical therapy. You will want to get active again and stay as active as possible. Swimming near your Capitola home is a great way to do that as the ocean is close by. Swimming is a low impact exercise that will strengthen the muscles and tendons that are key to the movement of your joints. It will also help to strengthen the abdominal muscles and that helps your back pain, too. Many Capitola homes have pools, which are a great place to exercise in a low impact manner.
There are lots of signs and symptoms for RA. Only a doctor close to your Capitola home can correctly diagnose what is wrong with you. Once you have been diagnosed with RA there are several treatment options. They include medication, surgery, and physical therapy. The medication and therapy may prevent the surgery option. Living with RA does not have to be a set of coping mechanisms; you can remain active long after retirement.