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arthritis-symptoms-and-treatment

arthritis: Symptoms and Treatment

Arthritis is a joint disorder that causes pain and inflammation. The patient suffering from arthritis feels difficulty or pain while moving. Arthritis is of different types and each type shows different symptoms. Treatment of each type of arthritis is different as per its symptoms.  Usually, older adults carry its symptoms, however, it may affect men, women, and children of any age. In this article, I am going to discuss the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of arthritis.

Arthritis usually affects the following areas of the body:

  • Hands.
  • Feet.
  • Knees.
  • Hips.
  • Lower back.

 Parts of a joint

The soft tissues support and provide a cushion to the joints. These tissues also prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. There is a connective tissue whose name is articular cartilage that has an important role. It helps in smooth, and friction-free movement of the joints.

Some joints contain a padded pocket of fluid known as the synovial membrane. It lubricates the joints. ligaments and tendons support the joints like knees. Ligaments connect the bones with each other whereas tendons join the bones with muscles.

Types of Arthritis

More than 100 different joint conditions come under the head of arthritis. However, the most common types of arthritis are as under:

Osteoarthritis

The repeated stress breaks down the cartilage resulting in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.

Other than this following are the common types of arthritis.

Spine arthritis

Also, the other name for spine arthritis is ankylosing spondylitis. Usually, it attacks the lower back.

gout

Sometimes hard crystals of uric acid in the joints make movement difficult. This is called gout.

juvenile arthritis

Sometimes body’s immune system attacks tissues around the joints and causes juvenile arthritis.

rheumatoid arthritis

The body’s immune system sometimes attacks the synovial membrane and causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Presently, the most common reason for disability around the world is arthritis. A huge number of adults and children in the world become the prey of this disease.

Causes of Arthritis

Every kind of arthritis has its own reasons. For example, too much uric acid in the body results in gout arthritis. However, other types of arthritis must not have known reasons. Arthritis may be caused:

  • Due to family history.
  • Because a job or sport puts repeated stress on joints.

Because of viral infections or autoimmune diseases.

Risk Factors for Arthritis

Here are some factors that may help in causing arthritis.

Aging

As you get older, the risk of getting arthritis increases.

Unhealthy lifestyle

Very little or no exercise or a lot of smoking can result in arthritis.

Obesity

Extra weight puts extra stress on joints that can result in arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Every type of arthritis has its own symptoms. These symptoms can be mild in some people while for others these can be very severe. In some cases, joints pain maybe for a shorter period but in other cases, it may last for years or constantly. The most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Tenderness.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Warmth.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

If someone feels that he is suffering from arthritis, he needs to visit his doctor. The doctor will try to know about the symptoms and will try to know how it affects your daily life. Through your physical examination, the doctor will try to find:

  • Swelling areas around the joints.
  • Mobility and range of motion in the joints.
  • Is there any other condition that could cause these symptoms?

The doctor may recommend an imaging examination to detect arthritis. These imaging exams may include X-ray, Ultrasound, or MRI.

  • The results of these imaging exams can help in finding bone fractures or bone dislocations that may be causing joint pain.  
  • The results of these imaging exams can reveal cartilage breakdown around the joints.
  • These can help in detecting muscle, ligament, or tendon injuries near the joints.
  • These imaging results help in the detection of soft tissue inflammation.

For confirming gout or rheumatoid arthritis doctor may recommend a blood test to find the level of uric acid or inflammatory proteins.

Management and Treatment of Arthritis

There isn’t any hundred percent cure for arthritis, however, some treatments can help in managing this condition. The severity of the disease, its symptoms, and the overall health of the patient help in determining the treatment plan.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Non-surgical treatments are as under:

Medication

Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are helpful in controlling arthritis symptoms. However, only the doctor can recommend these medications as per symptoms.

Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy plays an important role in reducing or overcoming arthritic pains.

Therapeutic Injections

The therapeutic injections provide temporary relief in pain and inflammation in the joints. In this treatment, a lubricant is injected into the joints for smooth movement of joints.

Surgical Treatments

It is only the doctor who can determine surgery for certain severe conditions of arthritis. Usually, these conditions do not improve by non-surgical treatments, then the doctors may opt for these surgical options.  These surgical options include:

Fusion

In this treatment, two or more bones are fused permanently with each other. This type of treatment immobilizes the joint and pain is reduced that was being caused due to the joint’s movement.

Replacement of the Joint

An artificial joint can replace the damaged, arthritic joint. The damaged joints of the ankle, shoulder, hip, and knee are usually replaced with artificial joints. Joint replacement helps in preserving joint function and movement.

Prevention of Arthritis

Arthritis can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

  • If someone smokes, he should quit it. Quitting the bad habit of smoking will reduce the risk of developing arthritis.
  • A regular low-impact or non-weight-bearing exercise reduces the risk of developing arthritis.
  • Avoiding obesity and maintaining a healthy weight help the cause.
  • By avoiding situations that increase the risk of joint injuries.

Biggest Health Risk Linked With Arthritis

The biggest health risk that is linked with arthritis is sedentary or inactivity. Sedentary or inactivity may increase the risk of having cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems.

Learn to live with arthritis

As arthritis is not curable, so, the person suffering from arthritis needs to learn the ways that can help him in living with arthritis.

A professional physiotherapist can help you with this concern. He can help you in managing these daily life challenges. The professional physiotherapist may ask you for a little bit of adjustment in your daily routine that can help in reducing the extra stress on your joints.

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