Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long lasting) inflammatory illness. In RA, the immune system is affected and begins to attack and destroy normal tissues. RA generally affects the tissue and fluids that surround joints, known as synovial tissue. Because synovial tissue is found around other organs such as the heart and lungs, RA is considered a systemic disease, affecting multiple systems in the body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects more than two million people in the United States. The disease is three times more common in women than in men. The disease can begin at any age, but most often starts after age forty and before sixty. In some families, multiple members can be affected, suggesting a genetic basis for the disorder. It is not known what causes RA in an otherwise healthy individual. In some, it may be due to a genetic link as noted above, but the majority of cases are of unknown origin.
The primary symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is pain and joint swelling, especially in the small joints of the hands and feet. Symptoms may first be noticed in the morning and include stiffness, pain and joint tenderness. Extreme fatigue is also a symptom of RA. RA may progress slowly but in some cases it causes severe symptoms and joint deformity from the beginning.
How a 3-Point Splint Can Help
Deformity in the fingers is a common problem in RA. 3-Point Products’ Oval-8 Finger Splints stabilize and support the fingers to improve hand function. Oval-8 splints reduce the common deformities known as Swan Neck and Boutonniere deformities.
The proper use of splints to rest and support the hands has been shown to reduce pain and stiffness and to improve or prolong normal function. Resting the hands at night in a Comforter Splint maintains proper alignment of the bones and tendons and eliminates stress on the hands from poor positioning. The Polycentric Ulnar Deviation Splint is suggested to protect and hold the fingers in neutral alignment during the day.
Thumb problems are common in RA. Thumbs take a great deal of stress throughout daily activities and splints can help reduce this stress and improve strength and function. The 3pp ThumSling, 3pp ThumSaver MP, and 3pp Ultra Spica are just a few of the 3-Point splints suggested for persons with RA.
3pp Toe Loops can be used to help hold toes in straight alignment and to reduce pressure on toes caused by deformity.
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