Early detection of rheumatoid arthritis
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease, which begins as a normal pain in smaller joints, gradually affects the rest of the body if not treated early. Dr Amit Sharma, consultant Rheumatologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, says, “RA is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body.” If the pain and inflammation in small joints persists for a few weeks and is associated with morning stiffness lasting over 30 minutes to one hour, there is a high probability that the patient is harbouring rheumatoid arthritis. RA is not just an illness of the joints; it can affect other organs of the body. “There is no cure for RA but medication can reduce joint inflammation, relieve pain and slow or prevent the joint damage. There are specific medicines to manage rheumatoid arthritis”, adds Sharma. Occupational and physical therapy can help protect joints from further damage. Certain exercises can keep your joints flexible. If this disease is left to worsen for long, treatment gets increasingly difficult, so catching this disease young is the right way to avert this situation.
DISCLAIMER: The veracity of any health claim made in the above article is the responsibility of the concerned hospital/doctor.
Rheumatologists have blamed lack of awareness for the surge in cases of rheumatoid arthritis