Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory, autoimmune disorder that can damage a wide variety of body systems. Although it is commonly known that this disease can affect the joints, it can also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system erroneously attack healthy cells which causes inflammation, swelling and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis in particular affects the lining of the joints, which can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
RA is known to attack many joints at once, most commonly in the hands, wrists, and knees and typically on both sides of the body. The damage this causes can lead to long lasting chronic pain, lack of balance and malformation of those joints.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pain or aching in multiple joints
- Stiffness in multiple joints usually worse in the morning or after inactivity
- Tenderness and swelling in multiple joints
- Same symptoms bilaterally (such as in both hands)
- Weight loss
These symptoms may come and go, they may vary in severity with acute flares and alternate periods of relative remission.
Risk Factors for Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis
- RA most commonly beings in middle age, however it can occur at any age.
- Sex, women are two to three times more likely to develop RA than men.
- Genetics, people born with HLA (human leukocyte antigen) are more likely to develop RA. This risk increases when exposed to smoking or when obese.
- Family history, if a family member has RA you may be at a heightened risk.
- Cigarette smoking, not only can it make someone more inclined to RA, it can exacerbate the severity of symptoms.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ozone therapy has been shown to be very promising in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. When ozone (O3) comes into contact with the body it generates acute oxidative stress, this is beneficial in several ways.
-Ozone improves tissue oxygenation, increasing overall oxygen transport capacity
-Ozone improves the body’s antioxidant system
-Ozone boosts the immune system and helps to combat bacteria and viruses
-Ozone therapy reduces inflammation
-Ozone therapy may make it possible to reduce the need for medication
-Ozone therapy has very few, if any side effects
Clinical Nutrition, helps to address the nutritional deficiencies in the body as well as help the body better combat the autoimmune response. Dr. Lee called rheumatoid arthritis “a cooked food and stress disease.” Many processed foods are amplifying this condition. Clinical nutrition focuses of the nutritional need of the bones, joints, soft tissues and autoimmune response to provide nutrients to the body.
Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Managing RA is just as important as ozone therapies, chiropractic adjustments and nutrition to improve quality of life.
- Stay physically active. Studies recommend physical activity such as, swimming, walking or biking for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. If 30 minutes in one session is too long, feel free to break that up into 10 minute increments throughout the day if needed.
- A healthy diet that is low in processed and prepackaged foods to reduce inflammation and autoimmune response.
- Chiropractic care. Chiropractic manipulations can help reduce pain and inflammation. They can also help with creating balance within the body by inducing proper alignment of the spine and joints. We provide exercises or stretches you can do at home in between chiropractic appointments, as necessary.
- Ozone therapy. We offer injections, ear/nose insufflation, vaginal/rectal insufflation (this can be done at home) and ozone sauna. Imagine having your joints warmed from the inside out in a controlled environment. The ozone sauna not only does this, but helps increase circulation as well.
- Stop smoking cigarettes. Smoking may make RA worse and may cause other unwanted medical issues.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may cause added pain and inflammation for those with RA.
- Join a support group. You will gain confidence in learning how to manage the symptoms of RA and how to improve daily tasks.
Here at Alta Mountain Chiropractic we offer a variety of ways to assist you in helping with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Give us a call today (801)523-2582 so we can help you start to feel better.