Rheumatoid arthritis - a chronic disease that affects the connective tissue of the body. Defeat it occurs predominantly in the joints of the hands and feet. The cause of the disease is not clear, but it is assumed that it is based on changes in the immune response of the organism on its own connective tissue, this change may trigger a number of viruses, antibodies are sometimes found in the blood of patients with RA.
The disease onset is most often subacute, predominantly affects women in middle age. Often triggered by the beginning of the transferred acute infection, hypothermia, or a stressful situation. Note also link the disease with the spring-autumn season and periods of physiological adjustment of the organism (adolescence, the period after childbirth in women, menopause). The first symptoms of RA and non-specific like a banal cold: malaise, fatigue, weight loss, periodic aching muscle pain, sweating and a slight rise in temperature. In the future, there are pains in the joints.
Characteristically, the first affects the small joints of hands and feet, symmetrical lesion. The pain is accompanied by a feeling of stiffness in the joints, loss of full range of motion in them. Pain and stiffness are more intense in the morning and gradually diminish in the evening. The more active the disease, the greater the period of morning stiffness is observed. Affected joints are enlarged, reddish, with a warm skin over their surface, sharply painful when touched before them.
In the future, an acute inflammatory edema subsides, but the form of deformation of the joints, especially the small joints of hands and feet. Characterized by specific changes in the configuration of fingers due to the persistent flexion or hyperextension of the joints. Thus, in RA suggests deformation of individual fingers to type "swan neck" or the whole brush-type "fin walrus." In the deformed joints hindered movement, impaired function of the elasticity of the brush and brake, causing the patient becomes virtually disabled and unable to maintain itself. Relapsing disease course, each subsequent re-aggravation of acute painful at first accompanied by swelling of the joints, and then the progression of their deformity.
In addition to joint symptoms in Rheumatoid arthritismay cause other injuries: thinning and brittle nails, muscle weakness of the skeleton, the development of gastritis gipatsidnogo, pleurisy, lung tissue damage. Many of these symptoms are caused by the formation of the so-called rheumatoid nodules - small lumps of connective tissue in the organs. Their appearance is also characteristic of the affected joints, nodules under the skin can be probed in a painless form of dense pellets.
Treatment depends on the activity of RA and disease duration. Each patient treatment regimen is selected individually, sometimes you have to change a few preparations before you can suppress the activity of inflammation. The main agents for the treatment of disease are anti-inflammatory drugs, cytostatics, and immunomodulators. Moreover, the drugs used in the form of tablets and injections into the affected joints. Symptomatic analgesics are used, means of improving the local blood flow. Pharmacological treatment should be combined with physical therapy (used methods that do not cause heating of body tissues!) - Physical therapy, pulsed currents, ultrasound therapy.