What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis



It is a far more serious and crippling condition. This probably represents a chronic allergic type of disorder involving the joints with production of increased fluid, heat, and pain. Sometimes all the major joints are attacked to produce generalized or disseminated rheumatoid arthritis. In other instances (especially in the early stages) the spine alone, or only the hands and the feet, are attacked.

Neither the basic nature of nor basic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis is yet known. Immediate control of even severe rheumatoid arthritis can be secured by the use of steroid drugs (cortisone-type drugs). Other treatments that have been used include injections of gold and such drugs as aspirin and butazolidine, perhaps supplemented by such pain-killing agents as the codeine group of drugs. Many doctors rely heavily on physical therapy. Rheumatoid arthritis must be regarded as a troublesome affliction which can be helped-but not cured. The patient must learn to live with the disease and do what he can despite it.