As the cold wind begins to blow, there are more middle-aged women who feel stiff, swollen, and hot in their joints and fingers for more than an hour in the morning. The pain worsens whenever you press or move the joint lesion, and the pain occurs more in small joints such as the wrist and fingers than in large joints such as the knee or shoulder. These symptoms are most likely rheumatoid arthritis.
Immobilizing the joint because of the cold can further increase the stiffness of the joint. In addition, psychological causes such as increased depression as the weather gets colder can aggravate joint pain.
Professor Song Ran of the Department of Rheumatology at Kyunghee University Hospital in Gangdong said, “The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are especially severe in winter.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and pain in the joints and eventually damages the joints. At first, fatigue and mild fever occur, and the joints become stiff, or major joints of the body such as fingers, toes, wrists, and ankles are swollen and painful.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs at any age, but is most common in women in their 40s and 50s. There are three times more women than men.
Taehwan Kim, a professor of rheumatology at Hanyang University Rheumatology Hospital, said, “There are more than 25,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients every year, and if not treated properly, there is a 60-70% chance of bone erosion that causes bone and joint damage within two years of the onset. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are very important.”
The typical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are △ When you wake up in the morning, your finger joints are stiff, and it takes more than an hour to loosen up △ Your joints are swollen in three or more areas for more than 6 weeks △ You have been prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, but your joint pain is not controlled △ High levels of inflammation heard, etc. In particular, if all of these four symptoms apply, it is highly likely that it is rheumatoid arthritis, so a detailed examination is necessary.
Rheumatoid arthritis is difficult to cure, but with proper treatment, joint damage and symptoms can remain virtually non-existent.
Jo Soo-kyung, a professor of rheumatology at Hanyang University Rheumatology Hospital, said, “Steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-rheumatic drugs, biologic agents, and oral targeted therapies are used as therapeutic agents. It has a good effect.”
As a result of prescribing biologics and oral targeted therapeutics (JAK inhibitors) to rheumatoid arthritis patients, 56.5% of patients achieved remission or low disease activity within 1 year. It is the result of analyzing the prescription and treatment status data of 2,379 patients with rheumatoid disease from December 2012 to September 2020 by the Clinical Research Committee of the Korean Rheumatology Society.
Kwon Dae-ik medical journalist [email protected]
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