Nothing can accurately describe the physical pain that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis pain is chronic and is not something that can be easily fixed with just a pain pill. This pain can be one of the most crippling aspects of living with RA.
The constant attack on otherwise healthy joints leads to inflammation. The joints become red and swollen. Although inflammation helps us know there is a problem, the individual is already suffering a great deal before realizing what is going on. When joints are constantly inflamed they eventually begin to move around. This can lead to joint damage and disfigurement, which can sometimes be permanent. Many of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are directly related to this inflammatory process.
Eventually, joints that are continually inflamed often begin to experience extended periods of stiffness, which can sometimes lead to substantial reductions in strength and mobility. One of the most prominent symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is morning stiffness.
When rheumatoid arthritis is active, a person can easily become extremely tired to the point of being bound to their chair. This constant lack of energy can be one of the most limiting aspects of life with RA. Living with RA can bring about many emotional challenges. Stress and anxiety levels may increase. Periods of depression and feelings of losing hope can easily arise. Coping with chronic illness is difficult. In addition to that, rheumatoid arthritis is not related to age – it can affect people young and old alike. There is even a juvenile form of RA. Many people confuse RA with osteoarthritis, another form of arthritis, which is typically associated with age.
Some people living with RA might show visible signs of joint damage, or may use assistive mobility devices. Mostly though, in many cases of rheumatoid arthritis the illness is invisible.
At Atlanta Health Specialists, we want you to know that we are here to support individuals who have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.