Let’s take a look at rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systematic autoimmune inflammatory disease and results in persistent inflammation of synovial tissue especially of the wrists, hands and feet. Individuals with RA are 8 times more likely to have functional disability compared with adults in the general population from the same community. The structures around the joint can also be affected, like the tendon sheath, the bursa and tendons. This pathology causes pain, stiffness in the morning and after periods of inactivity, joint swelling, weakness, fatigue and restricted joint mobility leading to reduced function.
Without treatment RA can lead to irreversible damage, namely deformity and finally provoke considerable physical functional loss or even permanent disability. Thus, RA causes dramatic interference with quality of life if early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are not obtained.
NB: Whilst massage may be of some benefit, chiropractic manipulation cannot be performed in actively inflamed joints. Exercise (preferably under the guidance of a physiotherapist) is the best form of treatment to complement orthodox medical care; with hydrotherapy being particularly useful. There is no therapy that can completely heal RA. But there are treatments that achieve pain relief and the slowdown of the activity of RA to prevent disability and increase functional capacity.