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Patient Review Highlights
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses over time. It generally affects the fingers, feet, wrists, and ankles. It causes immobility due to inflammation and stiffness as well as severe pain. This is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly ends up attacking the joints instead of attacking bacteria and other substances as it normally should. Severe cartilage damage can be caused if this condition is not treated on time, which can make the spacing between the bones even smaller than usual.
Let us find out how one can tackle this condition.
- Rest: While there is still no cure for this condition, one can take a number of measures in order to tackle it. One of the foremost ways of managing this condition is with the help of rest and relaxation. It is important to get plenty of sleep so that you can keep the condition from getting worse. There are a number of relaxation exercises that will help you in sleeping better, especially if you have been having trouble sleeping due to the aches and pains.
- Exercise: Depending on the doctor’s recommendations, you will need to exercise on a regular basis so as to keep the motion in your joints intact for as long as possible. Muscle and joint strengthening exercises include swimming, walking, and even gentle stretching that can help in reducing muscle fatigue. This can make your muscles stronger and increase the range of motions as well.
- Ointments and Lotions: One can turn to gels and lotions which can be topically applied. These can be prescribed by the doctor as well, so that the pain is soothed and temporary relief from pain and stiffness may be experienced. These are also available in the form of sprays. These ointments, gels or lotions usually contain camphor, menthol, capsaicin and salicylates.
- Fish Oil Supplements: Pain and stiffness can be significantly reduced with the help of fish oil, as per many medical studies. Before adding fish oil supplements to your food, you will need to talk to your orthopaedic specialist to find out if it may interfere with any medication that you may be taking for the condition or any other related disorder.
- Plant Oils: Plant oils are also known to contain fatty acids known as gamma linolenic acid, which can give much relief when it comes to pain and stiffness, especially in the morning. One must remember, though, that excessive use of this oil can lead to liver damage. So it is imperative to speak with your doctor or therapist before taking any plant oils.
- Medications: Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help in containing the pain and inflammation for severe cases.
Adhesive capsulitis is the medical term for a frozen shoulder, which can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Scar tissues can grow in the shoulder joint when the said joint becomes thicker. This development keeps the shoulder from rotating in a normal manner, which can lead to a frozen shoulder. The most common symptoms of this condition include severe pain and stiffness as well as inflammation. Here are the causes and ways to treat this condition.
Causes: A frozen shoulder can be caused due to a sports injury as well as an accident. Also, a hormonal imbalance can cause this condition. A weak immune system may cause inflammation in various joints of the body, which makes motion difficult. Also, diabetes can give rise to a frozen shoulder as a side effect. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise often enough, or have just been through surgery which has led to a prolonged period of inactivity, then you can be prone to this condition. Surgery will also leave your tissue and adhesions sensitive to inflammation. Scar tissue may end up forming in very extreme cases, over a period of at least nine months. This can limit your motion.
Risk Factors: Besides diabetes, hormonal changes and inactivity, people who have been through a stroke or surgery are most susceptible to this condition. Also, patients who are suffering from thyroid disorders can end up developing a frozen shoulder too.
Physical Therapy: One of the most recommended ways to deal with this condition is with physical therapy. This kind of therapy will help you in stretching your shoulder so that you get back some motion over a period of time. This process can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of your condition. You must ask your doctor about other treatment options if this kind of therapy does not show results even after six months of intense and regular practice. Physical therapy can also be practiced at home, once you have learnt the technique from a physiotherapist.
Medication: One of the other ways to deal with a frozen shoulder is with the help of medication. Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medicines can soothe the discomfort. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, as well as naproxen sodium. Also, if you are undergoing a lot of pain, the doctor can administer a steroid injection in the shoulder joint.
Surgery: If medication and physical therapy do not help in treating the condition effectively, then one can go in for an arthroscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue with a small incision and other kinds of surgery for breaking the adhesions as well.