Osteoarthritis or arthritis: stiff fingers indicate both diseases
With fingers that are difficult to move, many people quickly think of the joint wear disease arthrosis. However, there may also be arthritis behind the symptoms, which is manifested by inflammation. It affects over half a million Germans.
Stiff joints are a symptom of osteoarthritis and arthritis
Stiff joints are mentioned by health experts as a typical symptom of osteoarthritis. However, they can also indicate rheumatoid arthritis. For example, the finger joints feel stiff after a long break or in the morning after getting up. The two diseases are often confused.
Your own immune system attacks the body
The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), on its patient information portal “gesundheitsinformation.de”, points out that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, while osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear. Your own immune system attacks the body because it perceives your own cells as foreign substances. The result is inflammatory reactions. In people with rheumatoid arthritis, the joints in particular are affected by an autoimmune reaction.
Over half a million Germans affected
According to the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh), rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory joint disease. Around 550,000 German citizens suffer from it. Women are affected three times more often. The onset of illness is possible at any age, but is usually between the ages of 40 and 50.
Arthritis is progressing slowly
When we talk about “rheumatism”, we usually mean rheumatoid arthritis. "Rheumatoid arthritis usually progresses slowly over many years," write the experts at IQWiG. “Different treatments can relieve pain and slow the progression of the disease. Recognizing and treating them as early as possible helps prevent joint damage. "
Medicines and naturopathic treatments
In rheumatism, drugs are usually used which, in addition to pain relief, have the important function of preventing or at least slowing down permanent damage to the joints. Natural remedies, such as radon heat therapy in warm healing tunnels, often help against the pain associated with rheumatism. So far, however, rheumatism has not been cured. (ad)