What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation of the joints. Other parts of the body may also be affected. Inflammation causes the joints to become painful, hot and swollen therefore movement becomes restricted. Stiffness in the joints is common, especially in the morning. The inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can result in damage to the joints particularly if left untreated.
Who gets it?
Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age but usually appears between the ages of 35 to 64. It is the second most common form of arthritis affecting nearly half a million Australians. It is estimated that 57 per cent of people with rheumatoid arthritis are women.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
The most common symptoms of RA include:
- swelling, pain and heat in the joints, usually the smaller joints affecting the hands or feet
- stiffness in the joints, especially in the morning
- persistent fatigue (tiredness)
- sleeping difficulties because of the pain
- weak muscles
- Flu like symptoms such as feeling hot and sweaty
- Usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
The course and severity of rheumatoid arthritis may vary from person to person and no two cases are the same. Symptoms may change from day to day and there may be times when your disease is active and ‘flared’ up and at other times when it is inactive.
Management of rheumatoid arthritis
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are many strategies to help manage the condition and its symptoms so you can continue to lead a healthy and active life.
Treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis
Once we have obtained a diagnosis of your condition we are able to formulate an individualised treatment plan. We don’t offer a one size fits all treatment solution.
Depending upon individual circumstances one or multiple treatment options may be undertaken to offer you the best possible outcome.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Healthy feet provide the foundations for a healthy body and an active life!
Dr Peter Shelton BSc Hons. Accredited Podiatrist.