The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can cause uncomfortable aches and pains in your joints. But be aware that what you might consider random flare-ups could result in permanent damage to your knees, hips, hands and feet!
New information found in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the Journal of Rheumatology and several leading textbooks on rheumatoid arthritis, suggests patients should work to prevent lasting damage and manage pain.
Doctors indicate that during arthritis flare-ups, disease-fighting white blood cells mistakenly enter your joints. These white blood cells produce chemicals designed to destroy diseased microorganisms. The problem is, these disease particles arent in your joints! This means healthy joint tissue suffers damage instead!
Over time, the tissue damage destroys your cartilage, or the cushioning between your joints. And the longer your flare-ups go on, the more damage is done.
Doctors agree the best prevention is early detection. This can help protect you from permanent joint damage. Also, studies show that patients who consistently seek regular medical treatment several times a year fare better than those who do not.
As part of your joint protection planbe sure to exercise and get plenty of rest. Your doctor can help you develop an exercise program to help ease your symptomsand help you enjoy smooth, fluid movements again!