5 Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. The joint effect is usually symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand if affected, usually the other one is also affected. Because Rheumatoid arthritis also can affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease.
  2. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis are more at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, anemia, infections, osteoporosis, carpel tunnel and ruptured tendons. Many of these processes can be halted or reversed with aggressive early intervention and various usage of alternative treatments.
  3. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis in children. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints of children ages 16 and younger. Nearly 300,000 children from infants to teenagers in the North America are afflicted with this disease. The term idiopathic means “of unknown origin.”
  4. There is no known cure. The exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is unknown. Scientists believe it results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors, which trigger an abnormal response that causes the body to attack its own tissues. There is no evidence that foods, toxins, allergies or lack of vitamins play a role in developing the disease. Current research indicates that there is a genetic predisposition to (JIA)
  5. About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and about one out of every 100 adult Canadians has rheumatoid arthritis (RA). That’s about 300,000 Canadians. Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men. In women, (RA) most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life. Having a family member with RA increases the odds of having RA; however, the majority of people with RA have no family history of the disease.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation, Cold Laser Therapy or Phototherapy, has been used successfully as a therapeutic method to treat an extensive range of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. In particular, LLLT / Phototherapy for the treatment of Degenerative Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and a host of other musculoskeletal issues associated with various forms of Arthritis can be an effect alternative treatment solution to be used in conjunction with other traditional treatment methods.

The winter is coming, and weather-sensitive arthritis sufferers feel it first. It’s not your imagination; you may be able to feel weather changes in your joints.

Of the 712 people suffering from osteoarthritis surveyed, 469 (or 66%) reported that their symptoms of osteoarthritis worsen due to “weather sensitivity.”

But why?

What Is Osteoarthritis?

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by damage and loss of articular cartilage and changes in adjacent bone, including osteophytes and subchondral bone sclerosis.
  • OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
  • OA is most common in people older than 65, but can occur in people of all ages.
  • Age, obesity, previous joint injury and genetics may increase the likelihood of developing OA.
  • Osteoarthritisis the most common cause of chronic pain in older persons, and is the leading cause of disability in North America.
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By The Numbers:

  • One in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA
  • One in four adults will develop symptoms of hip OA by age 85
  • One in twelve adults, aged 60 years or older, suffer from OA in one or both hands
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3 Reasons Why Weather Sensitivity Could Cause Increased Pain:

  • Barometric pressure:

    The factor that may be responsible for increased pain is not always snow, cold or rain, but a change in barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the atmosphere at any given point. According to Robert Jamison, a Professor at Harvard Medical School, the fluctuation of this pressure could be what makes you more sensitive to pain during movement.

  • Intensity Of Sun-rays:

    A study conducted on 133 adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) suggested that intensity and frequency of pain suffered by rheumatoid arthritis patients decreases in the summer. The same report also suggested that humidity is directly related to the intensity of joint pain.

    The reason? The risk of exacerbation of the affected joint(s) increases with higher humidity.

  • High Vapor Pressure:

    Inflammation suffered by arthritis patients is positively correlated with high vapour pressure. This means that you are more likely to experience greater pain and inflammation on rainy and/or hot, humid days.

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What Can You Do?

Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers and other forms of medications. However, some medications can cause unwanted side effects, resulting in a host of other medical problems.

Phototherapy / Cold Laser Therapy:

Cold laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses low-level lasers. The technology utilizes super luminous and laser diodes to irradiate diseased or traumatized tissue with photons. These particles of energy are selectively absorbed by the cell membrane and intracellular molecules, resulting in the initiation of a cascade of complex physiological reactions. This leads to the restoration of normal cell structure and function.

  • Cold laser therapy or phototherapy is considered safe. It is non-invasive, painless and drug-free. There have been no reported adverse results or side effects of BioFlex Laser Therapy throughout the company’s nearly 30 year history.
  • Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of using LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) / Cold Laser Therapy / Phototherapy, as it reduces pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) and improves microcirculation in the irradiated area.
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