Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers know joint pain all too well—it’s a condition that causes swelling and stiffness around the joints, making movement difficult and often excruciating. For relief, many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers reach for over-the-counter pain medications.
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But properly treating rheumatoid arthritis takes more than this. It requires a deep understanding of the condition, including its causes. Through such an understanding, one can begin to learn how the condition can be treated over the long term and how alternative treatments—including those that don’t involve prescription or over-the-counter drugs—can help alleviate joint pain. So, what, exactly, do you need to know about rheumatoid arthritis?
1. RA Targets the Joints
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that takes aim at the body’s many joints, and particularly those in the hands, knees, and feet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, rarely does it target just a single joint, though, meaning that people experiencing rheumatoid arthritis in one part of the body often feel it in a completely different part of the body, too.
That said, not all people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are crippled by the condition. Those with mild rheumatoid arthritis may have occasional flare-ups of pain that can be overcome with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Aleve. However, those suffering from moderate or extreme versions of the condition will have more symptoms, such as regularly feeling sick and tired or even getting fevers.