How To Stop Rheumatoid Arthritis Swelling
This article will discuss how to stop rheumatoid arthritis swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disorder, as well as an inflammatory disease, that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of functions. Rheumatoid arthritis differs from arthritis in that it usually occurs symmetrically. If you have it in one knee, chances are you will have it in the other one. It may also be accompanied by fever, fatigue, and feeling generally ill. It may last for a while and go away, have mild symptoms with flare ups, or it may be active all the time.
Before starting any treatment for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, you should:
- consult with your doctor and discuss your medical history
- get testing done for rheumatoid arthritis
- Swelling in the joints is caused by your immune system attacking your joints. Your white blood cells attack your synovial joints and inflame them. This causes them to feel warm, and get red, painful, and swollen. The swelling is caused from the inflamed synovium becoming thick. Initial treatment for mild symptoms used to be aspirin or other over-the-counter drugs. Doctors now feel early treatment with stronger prescription drugs or combinations of drugs can help lessen the degree of pain and joint damage.
- A balance between rest and exercise is important in keeping inflammation and pain reduced. When the joints are inflamed, rest is needed. When the rheumatoid arthritis is not active, exercise is important to keep the joints flexible and mobile and the body healthy.
- When a joint is swollen it may need rest. Using a splint can help the joint rest by giving it support. There are also self-help devices that can help individuals with daily activities such as zipper-pulls, lift chairs and stationary bars.
- Be sure to discuss any medications you are prescribed with your doctor. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may cause side effects so it is important to discuss any medication regimen with your doctor to see if the benefits outweigh the risks.
- There are several new drugs called biologic response modifiers that can help treat rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs block cytokines that can trigger inflammation. Three of these drugs are Enbrel, Remical and Humira. Another drug called Kineret blocks interleukins which are seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients.