Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Normally, the body's immune system works to fight off viruses and bacteria, but autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack itself instead.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause problems for other parts of the body, including instability of the cervical spine, swelling of the lining of the heart, and inflammation of blood vessels.
Symptoms and Causes
Usually, the hands, wrists, and knees are the first joints affected by RA. The disease often affects multiple joints at the same time on both sides of the body. Symptoms of the disorder include:
- Swollen, painful joints
- Problems moving joints
- Pain and stiffness in the joints, often after sleeping
- Puffy red hands
- Rheumatoid nodules, hard bumps under the skin near affected joints
As it progresses, the disease may also begin to affect larger joints like the hips, shoulders, and jaw. Additional effects of the disorder can include:
- Swollen glands
- Redness or inflammation of the skin
- Deformities in the hand and feet
- Itching, burning, and discharge in the eyes
- Inflammation in the lungs
Medical researchers are unsure about what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms usually being in people aged 25 to 50 but can occur at any age. The disease is two to three times more common in women than in men, and is more common in smokers than non-smokers. People who have a history of RA in their families are more likely to develop the disease.
To diagnose RA, your doctor will inquire about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and may order lab tests and x-rays. He or she may prescribe pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, or may recommend you take other over-the-counter medications. Doctors may also recommend:
- Regular exercise
- Weight loss for people who are overweight
- Healthy dietary changes
- Using heat to reduce the pain and stiffness.
Any of these activities can reduce negative symptoms and help someone with RA feel better. However, they will not reduce damage to the joints caused by the disorder. Doctors may also prescribe medicines to help control the body's immune system, steroids to reduce pain and swelling and slow joint damage, or antirheumatic medicines to slow damage to joints. For some patients, surgery may be recommended.
Some office workers develop certain types of arthritis due to repetitive motions such as typing, writing, or clicking a mouse. By practicing good technique and by taking healthy preventative measures, office workers can reduce their risk of developing certain types of arthritis or repetitive stress injuries. Ergonomic office furniture can help lower the risk of injuries by promoting good posture and typing habits.
Beyondtheofficedoor.com provides modern, modern office furniture that is designed to reduce strain while you work. We offer a variety of office products for home or work, including stand up desks, lcd monitor arms and ergonomic office chairs. If you are looking for ergonomic solutions for your office, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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