Arthritis: Early detection to get the help they need – what are the symptoms and signs?
ARTHRITIS or rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which is similar to joint pain or inflammation. Daily activities such as eating, dressing and walking are affected early in the course of arthritis and patients are affected by functional disability issues. It has no cure and is a lifelong condition affecting more than 10 million people. There are many ways to relieve the pain caused by arthritis and losing weight and getting more exercise is a main one. The more weight you carry, the more amount of pain you will experience from arthritis. Exercise will also ease pain and stiffness in the joints. Other methods include hot or cold therapy, acupuncture and adding turmeric to your meals.
Alerting you health care provider to difficulties in daily living can assure that patients receive the help they need
Doctor Elena Myasoedova
Research and studies have bought some major advances in finding causes and better ways to treating and easing the pain of arthritis.
A population-based study accessed information from the Rochester Epidemiology Project’s database of medical records and looked at questionnaires from 586 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 531 people without the disease.
The prevalence of functional disability was more than twice as high in those with rheumatoid arthritis as those without.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a 15 percent or greater prevalence of functional disability than individuals without rheumatoid arthritis in most age groups.
Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis often are affected by functional disability a year or two before the disease is diagnosed.
Doctor Elena Myasoedova, clinic rheumatologist, said: “This new and intriguing finding may reflect an accumulation of symptoms between the time of first onset and the time required for providers to actually diagnose patients.
“These findings suggest that the burden of functional disability affects most patients with arthritis, begins early in the disease course, and may precede after the arthritis diagnosis. Alerting you health care provider to difficulties in daily living can assure that patients receive the help they need.”
The study also found that there was a persistent excess in the functional disability of patients even after diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.
This may come down to the fact that there is a growing burden of mental and physical pain, use of antidepressants and an increase in the expectation for relief from arthritis symptoms.
Main symptoms of arthritis include:
- Joint pain
- Loss of a range of motions
Joint swelling, stiffness and turning red are all major symptoms of arthritis and could cause permanent damage if treatment is delayed.
If you experience any of the symptoms such as joint pain and swelling last more than three days or have several episodes of joint symptoms within a month you should speak with your doctor.
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