Crippling arthritis is generally known as Rheumatoid Arthritis and this is a crippling & degenerative disease. There are more than one hundred different types of arthritis. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis, caused by the wear and tear exerted on the joints through a lifetime and rheumatoid arthritis, caused by an autoimmune response in the body.
Osteoarthritis is the arthritis associated with getting older. This is the version of arthritis that most people think of when talking about arthritis. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body is tricked into acting as though there were an infection in the joint. As a result there is swelling, inflammation and pain in that joint as the body endeavors to fight the phantom infection.
Because rheumatoid arthritis involves significant inflammation, it can often give you symptoms such as fever, weight loss and general malaise, especially at the beginning of the illness. The small joints are usually the most affected, such as the middle joints of the fingers, the wrists, the jaw joint, the toes and ankles. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are usually very inflamed – red, hot, swollen, and painful. Stiffness is usually worst in the morning, so many people will talk about morning stiffness. With time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause significant crippling and deformity of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious chronic disease that can cause crippling and reduce life span. Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis will be treated initially with anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs reduce pain and swelling, reduce the duration of morning stiffness, and generally reduce the symptoms. The most recent type of anti-inflammatory medications are called COX-2 inhibitors.
Because anti-inflammatory drugs only treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (they do not prevent the crippling that occurs over time), emphasis is now placed on what are called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medications can actually reduce the chance of crippling deformities and reduce the rate of other complications.
I hope that I've answered your question. Please let me know if you need any further information. You and your mother are in my thoughts and I wish her the very best while dealing with this disease.
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!