Rheumatoid arthritis : recovery is possible

The life expectancy of patients with arthritis by an average of 10-15 years less.Early diagnosis of the disease and timely treatment is the key to an easier course of the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RPA) - a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease with a primary lesion of peripheral limb joints.Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but most often it occurs in women 18-50 years old.

Rheumatoid arthritis

- a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease with a primary lesion of peripheral limb joints.Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but most often it occurs in women 18-50 years old, if the arthritis occurs before 16 years - talk about juvenile (youth), arthritis, and if after 65 years - it is called the older arthritis (or senilearthritis)

causes of rheumatoid arthritis

One of the most important factors in causing rheumatoid arthritis (RPA) has a latent infection (staph, strep, virus, etc.).In 50% of patients the disease is preceded by acute respiratory infections, flu, sore throat

or exacerbation of chronic infectious diseases.Often, rheumatoid arthritis develops as a continuation of the reactive or infective arthritis.

Now it is proved that there is a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune reaction of the body, attached to the genetic level, in one of the human chromosomes.When the life of a man of provoking factors (it is usually a viral or bacterial infection, hypothermia, the overall change in the immune background under the influence of stress, etc.) are activated protective immune responses and begins to produce antibodies (at RPA also called rheumatoid factor).

What happens to the joints during inflammation?

But in some cases the immune responses of the body are distorted and antibodies begin to act on their own tissue of the joints.This leads to inflammation and damage to them, that is developing the autoimmune process.Thus allocated biologically active substances and enzymes in the joint cavity.They fall into the intra-articular (synovial) fluid, here the same flock, and white blood cells, phagocytes.

As a result, there are small flat ulcerative defects on the surfaces of intra-articular cartilage.With the progression of cartilage disease destroyed more involving in the process of adjacent sections of bone to form in their small cystoid formations of three to five millimeters in diameter.

Over time, articular cartilage thinning, joint surfaces converge until closed, it will lead to further ankylosis - coalescing articular ends.Range of motion in the joint becomes less, and when no ankylosis, which leads to the patient's disability.In the first weeks of the disease in the inflammatory process involved and the small vessels of the joints, which is marked congestion and even mikrotrombozy, causing swelling, pain, feeling of heat around the joint.

main manifestations RPA

  • Women most often the disease begins with the appearance of swelling in the wrist and interphalangeal joints (predominantly middle phalanges) joints of the hands.Typically, symptoms and bilateral symmetric.
  • also characterized by pain and stiffness in the joints, more pronounced in the morning.It decreases after taking drugs and after some time (an average of about an hour) after the patient "at odds."Can disturb pains in the feet, under the fingertips, ankle and knee joints.Some patients (usually male) is more concerned about the elbow and shoulder joints.First, there is soreness at movements, patients try to move less, reducing the range of motion.But then the pain starting to bother them at rest and at night.Occasionally there is involvement of the temporomandibular joint, this is manifested in these joints ache at rest and enhanced pain while eating.
  • often deteriorating overall health: there is a feeling of weakness, increased fatigue, decreases efficiency, reduced appetite, patients lose weight.Sometimes there is the appearance of excessive sweating, low temperature, the patient becomes sluggish, apathetic, irritable, some become depressed.
  • Men with rheumatoid arthritis are sometimes involved joints of the cervical spine in the process, it worsens the disease through the development of instability (increased mobility).Very often, this violates the blood supply to the brain due to compression of the vertebral arteries.This can occur dizziness, balance disorder and tinnitus (vestibular disorders), the emergence of flies, spots before the eyes (visual impairment), blood pressure instability.
  • Some patients under the skin near the joints formed small dense knots, which are the local accumulation of white blood cells around the tiny inflamed blood vessels (vasculitis), disappearing in arresting the disease process in the course of treatment.
  • In 1/3 patients may experience pathological changes in the heart (pericarditis, degenerative changes of the myocardium and rarely - the involvement of valvular).
  • on the patient's condition can adversely affect the physical and nervous overload, sudden change of weather.

course and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis

most frequently (90%) found a slow and inconspicuous onset of the disease, and only 10% of rheumatoid arthritis begins acutely, with a high temperature, severe pain, swelling and redness of the skin overjoints.But the forecast of the disease in a timely intensive treatment is more favorable.

The disease often undulating - with exacerbation and remission process.With the progression of the inflammatory process occurs osteoporosis - decreased bone density in parts of the joint bones, and later their deformation occurs.It is noted swelling of the joints, which is associated with the appearance of the inflammatory response in the synovium, the lining inside the joint cavity, as well as increased production of synovial fluid (synovitis).

joint fluid begins to accumulate in the periarticular bags, between the folds and protrusions of the synovial membrane - this is often manifested in the form of bursitis in the area of ​​the popliteal fossa this type of bursitis is called a Baker's cyst.This further limits the mobility of patients, as the pain of them is already ongoing.When inactivity increased osteoporosis, leading to increased bone fragility.

positive influence on the course of the disease the patient has the ability to actively resist the disease, his mental attitude, the desire to recover and meticulousness in carrying out medical procedures.Therefore, a periodic medical control the progress of the disease, the timely diagnosis of an inflammatory process, particularly during exacerbations, appropriate treatment and effective prevention.


  • It was found that when time begun treatment complete recovery occurs in 20% of cases with no residual effects.
  • In 20% of patients after recovery observed slightly pronounced residual changes.
  • 50% of all diseases rheumatoid arthritis marked a chronic course with periodic exacerbations, often wearing seasonal.
  • In 10% of patients the disease takes a protracted course with severe exacerbations and severe functional impairment, which quickly leads to disability.

Gradually, when systematically conducted by treatment of the inflammatory process activity in the arthritis decreases, but emerging changes remain, and we must try, so they did not progress, so you should make active use of the best methods of treatment, and to prevent relapse and the emergence of strainswithout tightening with treatment in hospital (clinic).

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