Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory condition. It is characterised by pain and inflammation in the joints and surrounding structures. Commonly affected joints include the fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders, toes, feet and knees.
In this condition, the body attacks the membrane surrounding the affecting joint. This causes an inflammatory response, which can further damage the joint. The exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is unknown, but it may have genetic, environmental or hormonal links.
The outcomes are very variable, ranging from no disability to severe disability (in approximately 10% of cases).
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms will depend on the severity of the condition, but may include:
- Loss of or decrease in function
- Early morning stiffness
- Muscle wasting
- Decrease in range of movement
- Joint changes or deformity
- Symmetrically affected joints, e.g. right and left wrists
Here at West Limerick Physiotherapy Clinic, we aim to
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Improve or maintain movement, strength, function and independence
- Prevent deformity.
To achieve these aims, we utilise
- Manual therapy techniques
- Heat, ice, electrotherapy modalities
- Strength and exercise planning
- Relaxation techniques
- Advice on and prescription of orthotic devices, splints and mobility aids.
We liaise with other medical professionals to ensure appropriate medical management is achieved.