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Arthritis Awareness Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

  • October 17, 2022
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 We often find our elders clutching their joints and complaining about the excruciating pain they have to deal with every other day. Yet, there are instances where younger individuals have felt pain in their joints. All of these symptoms could be linked to Arthritis. Before we know the symptoms and causes of the disease, we need to have a clearer idea about Arthritis.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a type of disorder that affects the joints in our body. This can also cause inflammation, pain, and swelling, making it really difficult for you to move or remain active. There are different types of Arthritis, and each type can have certain symptoms associated with it. It is assumed that this disease usually affects the elders, but it can also develop in young adults and children. This bone and joint disorder can severely impact the following parts of the body, including feet, hands, hips, knees, and the lower back.

Types of Arthritis

There are over 360 joints in the human body, and arthritis, as a broader term, can refer to the disorder of any of the joints within our body. We need to look at various types of diseases and understand the symptoms associated with each of them. Some of the common types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis – This is a type of arthritis that occurs due to “wear and tear” of the joints. This occurs when the joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress.

Ankylosing Spondylitis – Arthritis of the spine, usually the lower back is the affected area of the body.

Juvenile Arthritis – This is a type of disorder where the immune system attacks the tissue around the joints. This disease affects children who are 16 or younger.

Gout – This disease causes crystals of uric acid to form on the joints, affecting your mobility and natural body movement.

Psoriatic Arthritis – This is a type of arthritis that develops in those having psoriasis. It causes joint inflammation.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is a type of disorder that makes the auto-immune system attack the synovial membranes in your joints.

Statistics Associated with Arthritis

Did you know?

India contributes anywhere from 22% to 39% of the global share of arthritis-related cases around the world. Also, arthritis affects more than 180 million people in India. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the country. India could have more than 60 million Osteoarthritis-related cases by 2025, and that is an alarming statistic.

Causes of Arthritis

As mentioned in types of arthritis, different types of the disease could have varying symptoms. Increased levels of uric acid in the body can cause gout. Some other causes are;

  • Family history of arthritis
  • Daily schedule puts repeated stress on your joints
  • Autoimmune diseases or viral infections

Symptoms Associated with Arthritis

A few of the affected individuals might have mild symptoms, and in such instances, the symptoms could go unnoticed. Joint discomfort could reoccur and subside over time. However, common symptoms include:

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

Diagnosis

If you think you have arthritis, get in touch with your doctor immediately. Your provider will perform a physical exam that may include the following:

  • Evaluating mobility and range of motion in your joints
  • Inspecting for areas of tenderness or swelling around your joints
  • Checking your overall health to determine if there is an underlying condition that could be causing your symptoms

Your doctor may also suggest certain imaging exams to get a clear picture of your bones, joints, and soft tissues. X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound can help reveal the following:

  • Bone fractures or dislocations
  • Cartilage breakdown around your joints
  • Muscle, ligament, or tendon injuries near your joints
  • Soft tissue inflammation

Treatment

Arthritis does not have a proper cure, but there are different types of treatments that can help you manage the condition. The treatment plan differs individually, depending on the severity, symptoms, age, and overall health.

Some non-surgical treatments include:

Medication - There are some anti-inflammatory and pain medications that your healthcare provider can prescribe that may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, are formulated to target your immune system’s inflammatory response, allowing you to treat rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.

Physical therapy - Rehabilitation aids in improving your overall strength, range of motion, and mobility. You can consult a therapist who can guide you on how to modify your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.

Therapeutic injections - To help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints, your doctor may prescribe you cortisone shots. Arthritis in the knee may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. The treatment includes injecting a lubricant that facilitates smooth movements of the joints.

Surgery is only recommended for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that show no signs of improvement, even with conservative treatments. Surgical options include:

Fusion - In this treatment, 2 or more bones are permanently fused together to immobilize a joint. This way, it reduces pain caused by movement.

Joint replacement - A damaged, arthritic joint can be replaced with an artificial joint. This treatment is highly effective and preserves joint function and movement. It can include ankle, hip, knee, and shoulder replacement.

Preventive Measures

You can reduce your chances of getting arthritis by following certain measures like:

  • Maintaining an ideal body weight
  • Refraining from high-weight bearing exercises
  • Staying away from tobacco products
  • Preventing any risk of serious joint injuries

Medical disclaimer

Any medical information referred to in or through our blog is provided as information only and is not intended:

  • as medical diagnosis or treatment
  • to replace consultation with a qualified medical practitioner

We highly recommend you consult the medical professionals empanelled with us for specific advice about your situation.

There is no cure for arthritis and hence properly managing it for the rest of your life is important. There are different types of arthritis, and thus you need to meet a healthcare professional to find the right combination of treatments to reduce its symptoms. The weather conditions can also affect the severity of your condition. Commonly humidity and cold are two common triggers of joint pain. Most people have been successfully managing arthritis while also performing their favorite activities. If they can, you can too. You can also prevent it by exercising regularly and maintaining an ideal BMI.