In a simple term, arthritis is joint inflammation. There are more than 200 conditions that affect joints and there are 100 different arthritis types. Each type has its own causing factor so as their treatments. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Gout and fibromyalgia can be included under common arthritis after the first two.
Mostly, arthritis takes time to develop, but sometimes it can appear suddenly. This medical condition is usually seen in adults over the age of 65, however, it can also appear in children, teens, and even younger adults! Women and obese people are likely to get arthritis.
The common symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in and around one or multiple joints. People may experience a decrease in the range of motion (distance and the direction a joint can move), skin-redness around the joint area. Most of the people discovering arthritis can experience symptoms in the morning and symptoms are very worst.
If your arthritis is type rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may feel tired most of the time and loss of appetite, it may also decrease in the red blood cells count in your body, you might get a slight fever, it may affect multiple organs of your body. If you leave rheumatoid arthritis (RA) untreated, it may cause joint deformity.
• There are around 200 rheumatic disease and medical conditions that affect joints and all of them are referred to arthritis.
• It can cause several symptoms and decrease the ability of a person to perform daily tasks.
• Being involved in the physical activities by arthritis patient is beneficial and decrease the pain amount, improve the function and brain health.
• Injury, unbalanced metabolism, infections, genetic makeup, weak immune system or immune system dysfunction are some of the factors that help developing arthritis.
• Treatment to arthritis patient is given with the aim to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain quality of life. The treatment includes medications, physical therapies, education and support.
Cartilage, a type of connecting tissue, protects the joints by absorbing the pain, pressure, shock and stress created while in the movement. The normal decrease in the amount of this cartilage tissue can cause some form of arthritis. One of the most common forms of arthritis OA can be caused due to normal wear and tear. Your chance of developing OA might be higher if you have a family history with this disease.
RA, an autoimmune disorder is another common form of arthritis. This is a medical condition where a body’s immune system attacks the synovium, a tissue that protects fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints. RA destroys and invades joint that will eventually destruct both the bone and cartilage inside the joint. Even after the years, the exact cause of the immune system attack is still unknown. However, researchers have discovered the genetic makeup increases the risk of developing RA arthritis.
As mentioned earlier, the treatment is recommended and given to reduce the amount of pain that the patient is experiencing and reduce the chances of additional damage to the joints. While in the treatment, the patient will learn what works best for controlling their pain. Some patients find heating pads and ice packs to be soothing while finding the use of mobility assistance devices including canes or walkers to reduce their pain.
Improving the joint function is equally important besides reducing pain. A doctor can prescribe a combination of treatment methods to improve the joint function.
• Analgesics, like Vicodin or Tylenol, helps to reduce the pain, however, they don’t help to decrease inflammation.
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Advil and salicylates, help reduce both pain and inflammation.
• Menthol or capsaicin creams block the pain transmission signals from joints.
• Immunosuppressants like prednisone or cortisone helps reducing inflammation.
The replacement of the joint with the artificial one may be one of the options. Surgery is commonly performed to replace hips and knees.
If the arthritis is more severe in fingers and wrists, a doctor may perform a joint fusion. In this type of surgery, the ends of the bones are locked together until they heal and become on.
Physical movement helps arthritis patient to reduce the pain and avoid the chance of developing new inflammation. Physical exercise helps to strengthen muscles around the affected joint. It is also one of the core components of arthritis treatment.