Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.
What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis varies from one person to another, but it usually starts quite slowly. Symptoms tend to come and go. You may also have flare-ups when your symptoms become worse than usual.
Common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis include:
- Joint pain and swelling (fingers, wrists, or the balls of your feet)
- Stiffness (morning stiffness lasting over 30 minutes)
- Tiredness (fatigue), depression, irritability
- Flu-like symptoms, such as feeling generally ill, feeling hot and sweating.
- Rheumatoid nodules (fleshy lumps below the elbows or on hands and feet)
How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?
Due to the variety of symptoms experienced by patients, diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis can be complex. Doctors will confirm the diagnosis based on your symptoms, a physical examination and the results of x-rays, scans and blood tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist (Rheumatologist) to confirm the diagnosis and receive treatment.
Physical Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Looking after your joints and managing your symptoms is very important in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Your physiotherapist can suggest several different therapies that may help ease your symptoms and reduce the impact Rheumatoid Arthritis can have on your life.
The following treatments have been shown to help patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Therapeutic Exercise
- Heat/Cold Therapy
- Pain Management
- Fatigue management
- Manual techniques
If you believe this relates to you, don’t hesitate to book now with one of our physiotherapists.