Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affects joints. It can lead to inflammation and pain, making you unable to walk and keep active. There are a variety of forms of arthritis. Each type has its own set of symptoms and requires different treatment options. While arthritis typically affects people over the age of 50, it may be seen in women, men and even children of all ages.
Is arthritis a disease?
Arthritis is a autoimmune disease that affects joints (areas where your bones meet and move). It is usually characterized by an inflammation as well as decline (breakdown) of joints. These changes can result in discomfort whenever you use the joint.
Arthritis is most prevalent in the following regions within the human body.
- Lower back.
What are the different parts of the joint?
Joints are cushioned as well as supported by soft tissues, which prevent the bones from hitting one another. A connective tissue known as articular cartilage is a crucial function. It allows your joints to move freely without pain or friction.
Certain joints are covered by the synovial membrane, which is which is a cushioned pouch of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, including the knees, are supported by ligaments and tendons. Tendons connect muscles to bones, while ligaments join bones to bones.
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What are the various types of arthritis?
Arthritis is broad term used to describe more than 100 joint disorders. The most frequent forms of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis ,or “wear and tear” arthritis, occurs as joint cartilage degrades due to repeated pressure. It’s the most frequent type of arthritis.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis ,or an arthritis of the spine (usually lower back).
- Juvenile arthritis (JA),a disorder where the immune system attacks the tissues surrounding joints. JA generally affects children who are who are younger than 16.
- Gout ,a condition that creates tough crystals of the uric acids to form inside joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis ,joint inflammation that is common in people who suffer from Psoriasis (autoimmune condition that can cause itching on the skin).
- Rheumatoid arthritis ,a disease that causes your immune system to target synovial membranes within your joints.
What is the prevalence of arthritis?
Arthritis is by far the most prevalent reason for disabilities across the U.S. More than 500 million people and 300,000. kids suffer from arthritis in some way.
SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND OTHER REASONS
What is the cause of arthritis?
Different types of arthritis come with distinct reasons. For example, gout can be due to excess uric acids within the body. However, for other forms of arthritis, the precise reason is not known. You may develop arthritis if you:
- Are you a member of a family with a with a history of arthritis.
- Work or play any sport that puts a lot of strain upon your joint.
- Certain autoimmune disorders or viruses.
Are there risk factors for developing arthritis?
Certain factors can increase your risk to develop arthritis, such as:
- Age: The likelihood of suffering from arthritis grows as you age.
- Lifestyle: Smoking or not exercising could increase the chance of developing arthritis.
- Sex: Most forms of arthritis tend to be more prevalent in women.
- The weight of the person: Obesity puts extra strain on joints and could lead to arthritis.
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What are the signs of arthritis?
Different forms of arthritis come with distinct signs. They may be mild for certain people, and more severe in other people. Joint pain may appear and disappear or remain indefinitely. The most common symptoms are:
DIAGNOSIS and TESTING
How can arthritis be diagnosed?
If you suspect that you be suffering from arthritis, consult your doctor. The doctor will inquire about your complaints and discover the impact joint pain has on your daily life. The physician will conduct an examination of your body, which might comprise:
- The assessment of mobility and range of movement in your joints.
- Be sure to look for areas that are tender or swelling around your joints.
- Assessing your overall health condition to determine if you have a specific medical condition is causing the symptoms.
Can imaging exams detect arthritis?
Imaging exams can help you and your doctor obtain a clearer picture of your joints, bones as well as soft tissue. A X-ray, the MRI or ultrasound may show:
- Bone fractures or dislocations which could cause joint discomfort.
- Cartilage breakdown around joints.
- Tendon, ligament or muscle injuries around your joints.
- Soft tissue inflammation.
Do blood tests detect arthritis?
There isn’t any blood test that can identify arthritis. However, if your physician suspects that you have rheumatoid or gout and wants to test for blood tests. It will look for uric acid or inflammation proteins.
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Treatment and Management
What is the treatment for arthritis?
There is no cure for arthritis, however there are treatments available to assist you in managing the condition. The treatment you choose to take will depend on the degree of your disease, the symptoms, as well as your general health.
Treatments for conservative (nonsurgical) treatments are:
- Meds:Anti-inflammatory and pain medications can help ease arthritis-related symptoms. Certain medicines, also known as biologics, work by targeting your immune system’s response to inflammation. Your doctor may suggest biologics for rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis.
- Therapy for physical injuries:Rehabilitation can help improve the strength, range of motion , and general mobility. Therapists can help you learn to modify your daily routine to reduce the pain caused by arthritis.
- Injections for therapeutic purposes: cortisone injections can help temporarily ease discomfort and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant into the joint to help joints move with ease.
Do I require surgery to treat arthritis?
Healthcare professionals typically only suggest surgery for serious instances of arthritis. They are those that haven’t been improved by conservative treatment. The surgical options are:
- Fusion The bones of two or more are joined. Fusion is a way to immobilize joints and eases pain that comes from movements.
- Replacement of joints: The damaged or arthritis joint is replaced with the aid of an artificial joint. Joint replacement is a way to preserve the joint’s function and allows for movement. It can be done with an ankle replacement, hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.
How do I prevent the onset of arthritis?
You can reduce your risk of getting arthritis by:
- Beware of smoking tobacco products.
- Exercise that is low-impact and non-weight bearing exercise.
- Weight loss is a key factor in maintaining a healthy body.
- Lowering the risk of joint injuries.
Outlook / Prognostise
What is the outlook for those suffering from arthritis?
As there isn’t a solution to arthritis many sufferers must manage the condition throughout their lives. Your physician can help to find the ideal combination of treatments that will reduce the symptoms. One of the greatest risk factors for health associated with arthritis is lack of activity. If you are sedentary due to joints pains, you could be more susceptible to cancer, heart disease diabetes, and other serious illnesses.
What do I need to do to make my life with arthritis more enjoyable?
Changes in your routine could help you live with arthritis more comfortably. Change your routine to reduce joint discomfort. It is possible to collaborate with an occupational therapy (OT). The term “OT” refers to a person who is an occupational therapist. OT is a healthcare professional who is specialized in the management of physical ailments such as arthritis.
An OT could suggest:
- Equipment that can be adapted, for example grips to open the jars.
- Methods to do sports, hobbies, or any other activity safely.
- Tips to reduce joint pain that occurs during flare-ups of arthritis.
Are certain kinds of weather conditions likely to cause arthritis to get worse?
Certain people experience arthritis that is more painful during certain kinds of weather. Cold and humidity are two of the most common triggers for joint pain.
There are many possible reasons why this happens. People are less active during rainy seasons and winter. The damp and cold can also make joints stiffer and cause arthritis to worsen. There are theories that suggest that the barometric pressure also known as the force of air around us, could affect arthritis.
If you notice that certain kinds of weather can make arthritis worse consult your physician about ways to treat your arthritis symptoms. Dressing warmly, working out inside as well as using heat therapies could assist in relieving your pain.
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A note from the VEDI Clinic
Arthritis is a condition which affects joints. There are many kinds of arthritis, each of which may cause pain and limit mobility. Certain forms of arthritis are the result of normal wear and tear. Some are caused by inflammation or autoimmune conditions. There are many treatments for arthritis that range from occupational therapy or physical treatment to joint surgeries. Your physician will examine your symptoms and suggest the appropriate treatment plan that meets your specific needs. The majority of people can manage arthritis while continuing to do things they enjoy.