Effects of Flotation REST on Range of Motion, Grip Strength and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritics

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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. It is a leading cause of long term disability with approximately 60% of the patients becoming disabled within 10 years (Whisler & Rothsmich, 1985). This disease, which commonly shows onset in the 20–55 age range, involves a systemic inflammation of the synovial membranes of joints as well as joint capsules, tendons, and tendon sheaths (O’Sullivan, Cullen, & Schmitz, 1981). It appears that the synovial membrane undergoes a local autoimmune response causing increased vascular permeability and collection of cellular blood elements. The infiltration causes the synovial membrane to become thickened and multicellular. As the disease progresses, chronic synovitis develops and destruction of cartilage and subchondral bone occurs.