What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’ (RA) can affect both your knee joints or any other parts of your joint in your body. It is different from ‘Knee Osteoarthritis’ (OA), which is a degenerative joint disease (also known as an ‘ageing’ disease) causing wear and tear of the knee joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder disease which your immune system attacks the synovium – a thin membrane surrounding the inner lining of your knee, ankle, shoulder, hip or wrist joints. The synovium helps to protect your knee joints and other joints by creating synovial fluid which nourishes and lubricates your joints.
When there is an attack of rheumatoid arthritis of the knee joints, it causes inflammation and thickens the synovium which may gradually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. It causes painful swelling and immobility to your lower limbs that can eventually result in bone erosion which is knee cartilage loss leading to joint deformity and physical disabilities. In the long run, the joint loses its shape as the tendons and ligaments become so weak and overstretched causing misalignment.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a long term immune system disorder that causes the body to mistakenly attack the healthy joints and tissues causing damage and pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects not only the joints but also the possibility of your lungs, eyes, skin, heart, blood vessels and other organs.
Why do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Currently, doctors are unable to know what causes rheumatoid arthritis to the knee or other joints exactly. However, the causes maybe due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Rheumatoid Arthritis may be hereditary also which means that your children will be more likely to develop it if parents suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Who can be affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects all races and people between the ages from 20 to 45 years old. 75% of women are affected more frequently as compared to men. It can affect the young people as well, not necessarily restricted to the middle or older age group patients.
What are the symptoms and tell-tale signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
You may feel the following symptoms around the affected joints:
- Extreme pain
- ‘Creaking’ knees
- Discoloration of skin turning red, purplish or blue-black
- Feel hot to the touch
- Limitation of movement and range of motion
- Abnormal or extra bone growth
- Stiffness in the morning
You may also experience physical fatigue, depression, fever, low energy as well as feelings of low self-esteem and helplessness.
How and where to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis mimic those of many other diseases, therefore it is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. It is important to know that there is no cure at the moment and no one blood test or physical finding to confirm the diagnosis.
For those of you who have family medical histories of rheumatoid arthritis or who suspected that you may have rheumatoid arthritis, it is best to see a doctor at a clinic to get a blood test done to determine the outcome.
For your information, the blood test consists of the following will help to find out if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Factor (RF). It is found in about 70% to 80% of people who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.
- ‘Sed’ rate (erythrocyte sedimentation rate). It will show up in high levels if you have any inflammation.
- Anemia which means low red blood cell count.
- High levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). A blood test marker for inflammation.
- Antibodies to a chemical called anti-CCP (Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide). This antibody will be present if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
Depending on your doctor’s recommendations, you may need to take an X-ray or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to assess the possibilities of any joint damages for the affected part or pain area caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
How to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis without medications or surgeries!
As you know that medications and surgeries in treating rheumatoid arthritis may carry the risks of side effects in the long run, now you can manage your rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain through our IPX System (Integrated Pain-X System) effectively.
It is a safe and gentle form of therapy which stops your inflammation, pain and swelling. It incorporates with rehabilitation exercises to stretch and strengthen your body, muscles and joints with our IPX machine. The IPX machine helps you to gain back normal function to carry out your daily activities like walking, working or doing house chores.