Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a constant battle, between you and your body; you are fighting with a body that is destroying you from inside out! It is not quite easy to live with RA. In fact, it is a condition where you have a disability that does not seem like one externally. Your body simply cannot reach up to the instructions of your mind.
Painful, swollen, warm joints and generalized fatigue gradually disabling one from usual chores; Rheumatoid Arthritis is primarily an immune system disorder where the immune system affects the cartilages around the bones. It cannot be diagnosed by a single test. It requires correlation of multiple factors like presenting symptoms, blood tests (ESR, CRP, anti CCP, ANA, RF, Hb etc) and X- ray findings to finally conclude on the diagnosis. Correct diagnosis is the first major step to proceed further into effective management. The joints affected follow a symmetrical pattern on either sides of the body, like pain and swelling to finger joints of both hands, or both knees etc. Moreover, a peculiar aspect is that stiffness and pain is most severe after a period of inactivity like just as one wakes up in the morning. Often multiple joints may be affected (Polyarthritis). Rheumatoid nodules around joints are another external feature typical for RA. There is no sure shot cure for the condition. Early diagnosis will prevent disabilities and prevent progression to a great extent.
Even though management of RA is quite complicated, we do have effective expert treatment protocol for RA and we take up RA as one of our specialties. It is managed best when we combine modern drugs and traditional Kerala Ayurveda procedures with herbal medicines for pain and swelling along with physical therapy and occupational therapies to maintain joint mobility. Management aims at interfering with your immune system so that disease progression can be slowed down. Along with that, reducing pain, swelling and stiffness of joints, managing anemia and fatigue are major aspects of treatment. RA is a condition that often slows down the activities of a patient when it becomes chronic. Such activities can be regained and sped up by proper physiotherapy and occupational therapies. The more active you are, the healthier will be your joints. Still, proper rest is also important in RA, when the inflammation is in its flare period. Hence, sharp expertise is required to decide which modality of treatment is apt at what stage.
Another important aspect in managing RA is the psychological role in treatment. RA is a stressful condition where the disability troubling the patient cannot be seen by others but can only be felt by the patient. It is a severely painful condition which brings down the emotional health of the patient greatly. Proper psychiatric intervention and training will also be required to ease stress. Apart from Doctors specialized in modern medicine and Ayurveda, Physiotherapists and occupational therapists, our expert panel for RA is designed with a psychiatrist as well so that we do not miss out any aspect in effective management. Our team is guided as per the protocols of MIRA (Meticulous Integrated Rehabilitation Approach) which has been designed by our proven experience and excellent results so far. RA is a condition where we can expect up to 80% result, but with continued medications and suggested exercises even after discharge from hospital. Besides, an RA patient will require repeated courses of treatment to prevent flare up. Following an arthritis friendly diet pattern is another important aspect to aid effective management.
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