Arthritis Nursing Assignment February 15, Rheumatoid Arthritis versus Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune reaction that mainly occurs in the synovial tissue leading to phagocytosis and production enzymes inside the joint. RA mainly affects the synovium of joints but can extend to affect multiple organs (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). RA may be acute in nature occurring at any age including children and is more common in women than in men. Osteoarthritis (OA), on the contrary, is a joint limited chronic arthropathy that presents with destruction of joint cartilage. OA is a degenerative disease that has a gradual onset causing joint pain, stiffness and rarely joint swelling.
OA characteristically affects the older people and is more common compared to RA. Nursing CareNursing care (NC) in both conditions demands pain management using drugs. The NC also involves maintaining or improving joint mobility, implementing exercise programs to increase joint motion and muscle strength. However, in RA the NC aims at suppressing the inflammation and masking the autoimmune disorder that causes self-tissue attacks. To achieve the desired outcome, anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying agents are compulsory in RA. Factors that Increase Severity of ArthritisSeverity of RA depends on the genetic makeup of a person and run in most families with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene.
Advancing age of patients, excessive weight gain, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption not only increase the risk of OA but also the severity of the disease. Role of Lifestyle Habits in the Development of ArthritisPoor dietary habits lead to excess weight gain that causes OA especially in obese patients. Obese individuals live sedentary kind of lifestyle and rarely exercise, which leads to high stress on the joints and decrease in joint mobility.
Arthritis incidence is also high in individuals who also smoke and take alcohol (Porter & Kaplan, 2011). ReferencesPorter, R. S. & Kaplan, J. L. (2011). The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy (19th ed. ). White Station, NJ: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Smeltzer, S. C., Bare, B., Hinkle, J. L., & Cheever, K. H. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth textbook of medical surgical nursing (12th ed. ). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.