Rheumatoid arthritis : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment


 What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic rheumatic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints. It is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the joints and other systems in the body. This eventually leads to joint damage and disability. RA is primarily a disease of the elderly, with the greatest prevalence found in people over 60 years old.

  1. Musculoskeletal system
    1. Human skeleton

    2. Joints

    3. Ligaments

    4. Muscular system

    5. Tendons

Medical terms

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of chronic inflammation that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints and surrounding tissues. It affects more than 1.5 million Americans and is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues. The tendency to develop the condition is believed to be inherited in some cases and environmental factors may also play a role. The most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain and swelling, which can be accompanied by warmth, redness, and stiffness around the affected joint.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. It typically occurs in the hands and feet and can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness that can significantly impact daily activities. In some cases, RA can also affect other organs, such as the eyes, lungs, and heart. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can range from mild to severe and can change over time.

Symptoms Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis influences all people in another way. In a few humans, joint symptoms increase over several years. In different people, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms progress hastily. 

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may also encompass:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints

  • Joint stiffness this is typically worse inside the mornings and after inactivity

  • Fatigue, fever and loss of urge for food

About 40% of humans who have rheumatoid arthritis also revel in symptoms and signs that don't contain the joints. Areas that may be affected include:

  • Skin

  • Eyes

  • Lungs

  • Heart

  • Kidneys

  • Salivary glands

  • Nerve tissue

  • Bone marrow

  • Blood vessels

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and symptoms may vary in severity and can even come and pass. Periods of increased disorder activity, referred to as flares, change with periods of relative remission — whilst the swelling and pain fade or disappear. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of the area.

When to look a health practitioner

Make an appointment along with your health practitioner if you have chronic pain and swelling on your joints.

Causes Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune ailment. Normally, your immune device enables you to guard your frame from contamination and disorder. In rheumatoid arthritis, your immune device attacks healthy tissue to your joints. It also can reason clinical troubles along with your coronary heart, lungs, nerves, eyes and pores and skin.

Doctors don't know what starts this procedure, although a genetic factor appears likely. While your genes don't really target rheumatoid arthritis, they are able to make you much more likely to react to environmental factors — consisting of contamination with certain viruses and microorganisms — that may cause the sickness.

Risk factors Rheumatoid arthritis

Factors which could increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis consist of:

  • Your sex. Women are much more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Age. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, however it commonly starts off evolving in center age.

  • Family history. If a member of your circle of relatives has rheumatoid arthritis, you could have a multiplied threat of the sickness.

  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your hazard of growing rheumatoid arthritis, in particular if you have a genetic predisposition for developing the disease. Smoking also appears to be related to more disease severity.

  • Excess weight. People who're obese appear to be at a particularly higher risk of growing rheumatoid arthritis.

Complications Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis will increase your chance of developing:

  • Osteoporosis. Rheumatoid arthritis itself, in conjunction with some medications used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, can boost your threat of osteoporosis — a circumstance that weakens your bones and makes them more liable to fracture.

  • Rheumatoid nodules. These company bumps of tissue maximum normally shape round pressure points, which include the elbows. However, these nodules can form everywhere in the body, such as the coronary heart and lungs.

  • Dry eyes and mouth. People who've rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop Sjogren's syndrome, an ailment that decreases the amount of moisture in the eyes and mouth.

  • Infections. Rheumatoid arthritis itself and the various medicines used to fight it could impair the immune device, leading to increased infections. Protect yourself with vaccinations to save you from illnesses along with influenza, pneumonia, shingles and COVID-19.

  • Abnormal body composition. The percentage of fat to lean mass is regularly higher in people who've rheumatoid arthritis, even in those who have an ordinary frame mass index (BMI).

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. If rheumatoid arthritis influences your wrists, the infection can compress the nerve that serves maximum of your hand and arms.

  • Heart troubles. Rheumatoid arthritis can increase your chance of hardened and blocked arteries, as well as inflammation of the sac that encloses your heart.

  • Lung ailment. People with rheumatoid arthritis have a multiplied danger of infection and scarring of the lung tissues, that can result in progressive shortness of breath.

  • Lymphoma. Rheumatoid arthritis will increase the threat of lymphoma, a set of blood cancers that expand inside the lymph machine.

What does rheumatoid arthritis pain feel like?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Those who suffer from RA experience intense pain and discomfort, with symptoms ranging from aching and soreness to burning and sharp pains. The level of pain experienced can vary from person to person, but it is generally described as a constant dull ache that is made worse with movement and occasionally sharp, stabbing pains. Additionally, the pain may come and go, making it difficult for those with RA to plan their day..

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. The pain of this condition can range from mild to severe, with sufferers often describing the sensation as a constant burning or aching feeling. The most commonly affected areas tend to be the hands, neck, and feet. In some cases, the pain can be so intense that even the slightest movement can cause excruciating agony.

Diagnosis Rheumatoid arthritis

Your healthcare company may additionally refer you to a medical doctor who focuses on arthritis (rheumatologist). Rheumatologists diagnose humans with rheumatoid arthritis primarily based on a mixture of numerous factors. They’ll do a physical examination and ask you approximately your scientific records and signs. Your rheumatologist will order blood checks and imaging assessments.

The blood assessments search for irritation and blood proteins (antibodies) which are signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These might also encompass:

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation charge (ESR) or “sed rate” confirms irritation to your joints.

  • C-reactive protein (CRP).

  • About eighty% of people with RA check superb for rheumatoid factor (RF).

  • About 60% to 70% of people living with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP) (proteins).

Your rheumatologist may also order imaging tests to search for symptoms that your joints are carrying away. Rheumatoid arthritis can motive the ends of the bones within your joints to wear out. The imaging tests can also include:

Treatment Rheumatoid arthritis

There isn't any therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. But medical studies imply that remission of symptoms is much more likely while remedy begins early with medicinal drugs known as sickness-enhancing antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).


The forms of medicinal drugs recommended by your physician will depend upon the severity of your signs and the way long you've had rheumatoid arthritis.

  • NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve aches and reduce infection. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Stronger NSAIDs are available with the aid of prescription. Side outcomes may additionally include stomach infection, heart problems and kidney harm.

  • Steroids. Corticosteroid medicines, inclusive of prednisone, lessen irritation and pain and gradual joint harm. Side consequences can also consist of thinning of bones, weight advantage and diabetes. Doctors frequently prescribe a corticosteroid to alleviate signs and symptoms quickly, with the intention of step by step truly fizzling out the drugs.

  • Conventional DMARDs. These pills can sluggish the development of rheumatoid arthritis and shop the joints and different tissues from permanent harm. Common DMARDs encompass methotrexate (Trexall, Otrexup, others), leflunomide (Arava), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). Side results range however may additionally consist of liver harm and intense lung infections.

  • Biologic retailers. Also called biologic reaction modifiers, this more recent magnificence of DMARDs consists of abatacept (Orencia), adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret), certolizumab (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), infliximab (Remicade), rituximab (Rituxan), sarilumab (Kevzara) and tocilizumab (Actemra).

  • Biologic DMARDs are commonly most effective when paired with a conventional DMARD, along with methotrexate. This sort of drug additionally increases the threat of infections.

  • Targeted artificial DMARDs. Baricitinib (Olumiant), tofacitinib (Xeljanz) and upadacitinib (Rinvoq) can be used if conventional DMARDs and biologics have not been effective. Higher doses of tofacitinib can increase the danger of blood clots within the lungs, critical heart-associated occasions and cancer.


Your physician may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist who can train you in physical games to help keep your joints flexible. The therapist can also propose new approaches to do each day's duties with a purpose to be less complicated in your joints. For instance, you could need to choose an item for the usage of your forearms.

Assistive devices could make it less complicated to keep away from stressing your painful joints. For example, a kitchen knife prepared with a hand grip helps shield your finger and wrist joints. Certain equipment, inclusive of buttonhooks, could make it less difficult to dress. Catalogs and medical supply shops are excellent places to look for thoughts.


If medications fail to prevent or slow joint damage, you and your doctor can also remember surgery to repair broken joints. Surgery can also help restore your capacity to apply your joint. It can also lessen aches and enhance characteristics.

Rheumatoid arthritis surgical treatment might also contain one or greater of the subsequent processes:

  • Synovectomy. Surgery to get rid of the inflamed lining of the joint (synovium) can assist reduce ache and improve the joint's flexibility.

  • Tendon repair. Inflammation and joint damage may also cause tendons around your joint to loosen or rupture. Your health care professional can be able to restore the tendons around your joint.

  • Joint fusion. Surgically fusing a joint may be endorsed to stabilize or realign a joint and for pain comfort while a joint replacement isn't always an alternative.

  • Total joint replacement. During joint replacement surgery, your general practitioner gets rid of the damaged elements of your joint and inserts a prosthesis fabricated from metal and plastic.

Lifestyle and home treatments

You can take steps to take care of your frame if you have rheumatoid arthritis. These self-care measures, when used alongside your rheumatoid arthritis medicinal drugs, let you manipulate your signs and symptoms and signs:

  • Exercise frequently. Gentle exercising can help fortify the muscular tissues round your joints, and it is able to help lessen fatigue you might experience. Check together with your doctor before you begin exercise. If you are simply getting started, start by taking a walk. Avoid exercising gentle, injured or seriously inflamed joints.

  • Apply heat or cold. Heat can assist ease your pain and loosen up hectic, painful muscle groups. Cold might also stupid the sensation of pain. Cold also has a numbing effect and can reduce swelling.

  • Relax. Find methods to cope with pain with the aid of reducing pressure in your life. Techniques including guided imagery, deep respiration and muscle relaxation can all be used to govern pain.

Alternative medicinal drug

Some commonplace complementary and opportunity treatments which have proven promise for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Fish oil. Some preliminary studies have determined that fish oil dietary supplements might also reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness. Side results can consist of nausea, belching and a fishy flavor in the mouth. Fish oil can interfere with medicines, so check with your doctor first.

  • Plant oils. The seeds of night primrose, borage and black currant comprise a form of fatty acid which can assist with rheumatoid arthritis ache and morning stiffness. Side effects might also consist of headache, diarrhea and gas. Some plant oils can cause liver harm or interfere with medicinal drugs, so test together with your health practitioner first.

  • Tai chi. This movement therapy involves gentle sports and stretches blended with deep breathing. Many human beings use tai chi to relieve stress in their lives. Small studies have determined that tai chi may also improve temper and first-rate lifestyles in humans with rheumatoid arthritis. When led with the aid of a knowledgeable trainer, tai chi is secure. But don't do any moves that cause ache.

Coping and assist

The pain and incapacity associated with rheumatoid arthritis can have an effect on someone's work and family lifestyles. Depression and tension are common, as are emotions of helplessness and coffee vanity.

The degree to which rheumatoid arthritis affects your everyday activities relies upon in part on how well you address the ailment. Talk to your medical doctor or nurse about techniques for coping. With time you may research what strategies paintings are nice for you. In the interim, try and:

  • Take manipulation. With your medical doctor, make a plan for managing your arthritis. This will assist you in feeling free of your ailment.

  • Know your limits. Rest when you're worn-out. Rheumatoid arthritis can make you liable to fatigue and muscle weak point. A relaxation or short nap that does not interfere with nighttime sleep may help.

  • Connect with others. Keep your own family privy to how you are feeling. They can be worried about you but may not sense at ease asking about your ache. Find a member of the family or pal you may communicate to while you're feeling mainly beaten. Also hook up with different people who have rheumatoid arthritis — whether through a support group in your community or online.

  • Take time for yourself. It's clean to get busy and not take time for yourself. Find time for what you like, whether or not it's time to write down in a journal, pass for a walk or pay attention to tune. This can assist in reducing strain.

Preparing for your appointment

While you might first discuss your signs and symptoms with your family health practitioner, he or she may additionally refer you to a medical doctor who specializes within the treatment of arthritis and different inflammatory conditions (rheumatologist) for evaluation.

What you may do

Write a listing that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms

  • Information about scientific issues you've had inside the beyond

  • Information approximately the scientific problems of your dad and mom or siblings

  • All the medicinal drugs and dietary dietary supplements you currently take and have taken in the past for this hassle

  • Questions you need to ask the physician

What to count on out of your doctor

Your physician might also ask a number of the following questions:

  • When did your signs begin?

  • Have your signs and symptoms changed over the years?

  • Which joints are affected?

  • Does any activity make your symptoms better or worse?

  • Are your symptoms interfering with day by day responsibilities?

General summary

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis pain can vary from person to person. Some describe it as a dull ache, while other people experience intense sharp pains. The pain can be localized to one area or can be felt throughout the entire body. It may be worse on certain days, or after periods of inactivity.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis pain can vary from person to person, but generally it is considered a dull and aching sensation. It can occur in any joint in the body, but typically it is found in the smaller joints such as hands, wrists, and feet. Additionally, there are several symptoms that can arise with rheumatoid arthritis such as fatigue and stiffness. These symptoms may worsen over time, depending on the severity of the condition.

  3. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes pain and inflammation in the joints, leading to joint damage and decreased mobility. It is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting people of all ages, races, and genders. Living with RA can be a painful and isolating experience, as those who suffer from it often feel like there is no escape from their pain. The most common symptom of RA is a dull, deep ache in the joints and surrounding tissue, which can be exacerbated by movement or stress.

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