According to the CDC, 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that often affects smaller joints, such as fingers and toes. While we know that RA is an auto-immune disease, the exact cause is unknown. Regular exercise can be beneficial for improving range of motion in those with RA, as well as alleviating depression that people often experience. Rotating hot and cold compresses helps to reduce the symptoms of pain and swelling. Taking both fish oil and turmeric daily, which are both natural anti-inflammatories, may also be helpful.
- Rheumatoid arthritis as a chronic inflammation usually first attacks the lining of smaller joints like toes and fingers, and when left untreated it can affect the knees and hips.
- The Centers for Disease control estimates that in 2007 there were about 1.5 million Americans suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and it affects more women than men.
- One of the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis is age. It usually attacks people over age 40 although younger adults and children can have it.
“Symptoms of RA come and go. When the body tissues are inflamed, the disease is active and leads to symptoms including muscle and joint aches, swelling, morning stiffness, and fatigue. When the tissue inflammation subsides, the disease is inactive and symptoms go away.”