Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints. It can cause discomfort and irritation, hindering movement and activity.
There are numerous forms of arthritis. Each disease has distinct symptoms and may require various treatments.
Although arthritis often affects older persons, men, women, and children of any age can get the condition.
This article covers all the symptoms, treatments and preventions of arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition characterised by stiffness, joint damage, or inflammation in one or more joints, together with pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Arthritis is most prevalent in the feet, hands, hips, knees, and lower back.
What Causes Arthritis?
There are numerous causes of arthritis. Some of the more typical causes are as follows:
- Lack of nutrition
- Dietary inconsistency
- Joint cartilage wear and tear
- Old age
- Family hereditary
- Infections attack the joints
Furthermore, different types of arthritis have several causes. For instance, Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cause damage to joints differently.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause
In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system targets the lining of the joint capsule, a thick membrane that surrounds all the joint elements. This membrane (synovial membrane) becomes enlarged and irritated. Eventually, the disease process might degrade cartilage and bone within the joint.
- Osteoarthritis Cause
Damage to the hard, smooth coating on the ends of bones where they form joint damage is the cause of osteoarthritis. Cartilage cushions bone ends and permits practically frictionless joint movement.
However, severe injury can cause a bone to grind directly against bone, resulting in pain and limited mobility.
Osteoarthritis also causes bone alterations and degeneration of the connective tissues. It keeps the joint together and connects muscle to bone. The joint lining may have inflammation and swelling if the cartilage in a joint is significantly damaged.
Arthritis Symptoms and Complications
Arthritis has different adverse effects on joints and organs in the body. There are several common and severe arthritis symptoms and complications.
The most common symptom of arthritis is a burning sensation and discomfort. These are some of the significant signs and symptoms associated with arthritis:
- Joint deformity
- Malaise and tiredness
- The joints appear red and warm.
- Lacking a quality sleep
- Intense pain in the joints
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Inability to move joints
- Joint pains or discomfort
- Joint stiffness and swelling
You may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks if you have severe arthritis in your hands or arms. Arthritis in the joints that hold the weight of your body might make it difficult to walk or sit up straight. Joints can degenerate with time, losing their original alignment and shape.
To diagnose Arthritis doctors, conduct several physical exams and laboratory tests.
- Laboratory Tests
You may be able to identify the type of arthritis you have by analysing various body fluids. Fluids for the test include blood, urine, and joint fluid. Doctors wash and numb the area before putting a needle into the joint space to remove some fluid.
You can gain a clear view of your bones, joints, and soft tissues by having imaging exams done by your healthcare providers.
X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds can disclose the following:
- Bone fractures or dislocations can cause joint discomfort
- Deterioration of joint cartilage
- Your joints are at risk for muscle, ligament, and tendon problems
- Inflammation of soft tissues
Arthritis Treatment and Preventions
When it comes to treatment, it all depends on the type of arthritis. Inflammation of the joints can be treated in various ways depending on the type of arthritis.
The severity of arthritis, its symptoms, and overall health will all play a role in your treatment approach.
Taking anti-inflammatory and pain drugs may help ease the symptoms of arthritis. Biologics work to reduce inflammation in the body.
The type of arthritis determines the medication. Most often given medications include:
It is taken in combination with Disease-modifying antirheumatic medications. Biologics modifiers are genetically designed medications that target diverse immune-system protein molecules. These types of medicines are easily available for purchase at an online Pharmacy.
It decreases pain but has little effect on inflammation. Analgesics include acetaminophen, tramadol, and oxycodone or hydrocodone-containing medications.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
It decreases inflammation and pain. Medications consist of ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Some non-steroidal medications come in the form of creams, gels, or patches that can be administered to specific joints.
These anti-immune steroid medicines are prescribed for the autoimmune types of arthritis to help decrease inflammation. These drugs can also be beneficial for osteoarthritis-related inflammation and are occasionally injected into a specific joint.
- Physical Therapy
Physiotherapy can assist in enhancing muscular strength, range of motion, and general mobility. Therapists can instruct you on how to modify your everyday routine to alleviate arthritic discomfort. They suggest specific exercises suitable for the individual’s health and needs.
Furthermore, the treatment occasionally involves pain-relieving treatments such as hot or cold packs and massages.
Surgical procedures for arthritis treatment, such as:
- Joint repair
In some cases, joint surfaces can be resurfaced or repositioned to alleviate pain and enhance function. Typically, these treatments can be performed arthroscopically, using tiny incisions above the joint.
- Joint fusion
This surgery is typically performed on smaller joints, including the wrist, ankle, and fingers. It extracts the ends of the two bones in the joint and then fuses them until they heal as a single, hard unit.
- Joint replacement
This surgery involves the removal and replacement of the damaged joint. The hip and knee are the joints most frequently replaced.
- Other Treatments
There is limited evidence to support the use of several alternative treatments for arthritis. Even though a large number of individuals use them. The most effective alternative arthritis treatments include:
- Fish oil
Some initial research suggests that fish oil supplements may alleviate the symptoms of certain kinds of arthritis. Fish oil may interact with medications if you are taking any. Therefore, consult your doctor first before having this supplement.
- Yoga and tai chi
Yoga and tai chi may enhance joint flexibility and range of motion through their slow, stretching motions.
Mild stroking and kneading of muscles can briefly alleviate pain by increasing blood flow and warming afflicted joints. Ensure that your massage therapist is aware of the joints affected by arthritis.
This therapy employs the insertion of small needles at precise places on the skin to alleviate several types of pain. It also includes the pain caused by some forms of arthritis.
Several studies have concluded that glucosamine is no more effective than a placebo, despite varying outcomes. However, both glucosamine and the placebo reduced osteoarthritis pain more effectively than doing nothing. Especially in individuals with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis pain.
Chondroitin may give mild pain relief from osteoarthritis; however, research findings have been inconsistent.
How to Manage Arthritis?
In many instances, arthritic symptoms can be eased by doing the following steps:
- Extra weight places more strain on weight-bearing joints. Weight loss may improve mobility and reduce the risk of future joint damage.
- Keeping joints flexible is easier with regular exercise. Since water’s buoyancy relieves pressure on weight-bearing joints, swimming and water aerobics may be excellent options.
- Heating pads or ice packs may be able to alleviate the discomfort of arthritis.
- You may protect your joints and increase your daily mobility by using canes, shoe inserts, walkers, higher toilet seats, etc.