Rheumatory Arthritis

Rheumatory Arthritis

(Misspelling of Rheumatoid arthritis)

WHAT IS RA?

Rheumatory Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis) (RA) is traditionally considered a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints.

It is a disabling and painful inflammatory condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. RA is a systemic disease, often affecting extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles.

The name is derived from the Greek rheumatos means “flowing”, and this initially gave rise to the term ‘rheumatic fever’, an illness that can follow throat infections and which includes joint pain. The suffix -oid means “resembling”, i.e. resembling rheumatic fever. Arthr means “joint” and the suffix -itis, a “condition involving inflammation”.

Thus Rheumatory Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis) was a form of joint inflammation that resembled rheumatic fever. Rheumatoid arthritis appears to have been described in paintings more than a century before the first detailed medical description of the condition in 1800 by Landre-Beauvais.

Rheumatory Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis) is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disorder affecting the joints and sometimes other organs as well. It is by definition polyarticular; that is, it affects many joints. Most commonly, the small joints in the hands and feet are affected, but larger joints (shoulders, knees etc) can also be affected; the pattern of joint involvement can differ from patient to patient.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects women three times more often than men, and it can first develop at any age. The risk of first developing the disease (the disease incidence) appears to be greatest for women between 40 and 50 years of age, and for men somewhat later.[3] RA is a chronic disease, and although a spontaneous remission may occur in a very small number of patients, the natural course is almost invariably one of persistent symptoms, waxing and waning in intensity, and a progressive deterioration of joint structures leading to deformations and disability.

The small joints of the cervical spine can also be involved.

Inflammation in the joints manifests itself as a soft, “doughy” swelling, pain, tenderness to palpation and movement, local warmth, and functional impairment. Morning stiffness is often a prominent feature and may last for more than an hour. These signs help distinguish rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritides from non-inflammatory diseases of the joints such as osteoarthritis (sometimes referred to as the “wear-and-tear” of the joints). In RA, the joints are usually affected in a fairly symmetrical fashion although the initial presentation may be asymmetrical.