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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sport

Rheumatoid arthritis does not have to exclude sport. Physical activities that are known to have a beneficial effect should be encouraged. Above all, athletes with arthritis should indulge in active exercises requiring muscular effort. Hiking, swimming, and crosscountry skiing are beneficial.

Other diseases of the joints

Joint infections

Infection may reach a joint either via the blood circulation (from the urinary tract, respiratory tract, sinuses, mouth and so on), directly through an open wound, or following a surgical procedure. Medical advice is essential if a joint infection is suspected.


Gout is caused by accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints, and 95% of the victims are middle-aged men. The first metatarsophalangeal joint (at the base of the big toe) is most frequently affected, and during an acute attack—which usually lasts 2–7 days—becomes red, hot, swollen, and exquisitely painful. Chronic gout may affect more than one joint, in which case it may mimic other generalized joint diseases. Medical examination and advice are recommended for the athlete with gout; treatment may include anti-inflammatory and other medicines, dietary modifications, and rest.

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