What is Arthritis?
It is the inflammation of one or more joints in your body. The Arthritis symptoms can be joint pain and stiffness that worsens with age. The two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Normal wear and tear is the cause of osteoarthritis whereas rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Other types of arthritis can be caused due to uric acid crystals, infections or an underlying disease such as psoriasis or lupus.
The most common symptoms are that of joints. The signs and symptoms can include:
5. Decrease range of motion
Risk Factors For Arthritis
Risk Factors for arthritis are:
1. Family History: Some type of arthritis runs in the family. If your parents or siblings have the disorder then it is more likely that you will also have it. Your genes can respond to environmental factors that trigger arthritis.
2. Age: The risk of many types of arthritis increases with age.
3. Sex: Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men.
4. Joint Injury: If a person is affected by a previous joint injury is more likely to develop arthritis in that joint.
5. Obesity: Being overweight puts stress on joints. Obese people have a higher risk of developing this disease.
Complications For Arthritis
If arthritis affects your hands and arms then it makes more difficult for you to maintain your daily tasks. If it occurs in the weight bearing joints then it can made your walking and moving uncomfortable. In some cases joints can become twisted and deformed.
What to expect from your doctor
Initially you would like to discuss the signs and symptoms of arthritis with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a rheumatologist-a doctor that specializes in the treatment of joint disease. Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:
1. What are your symptoms?
2. When did the symptoms started?
3. Does the physical activity make the pain better or worse?
4. Is the pain in one joint only or in more?
5. Do you have a family history of joint pain?
Tests and Diagnosis For Arthritis
During physical exam your doctor will examine your joints for redness and swelling. He or she will also like to see how well you move your joints. Your doctor will then prescribe the following tests:
1. Laboratory Tests: The analysis of different types of body fluids can help in the detection of arthritis you may have. Fluids analysed include blood, urine and joint fluid.
2. Imaging: These types of tests can tell problems within the joints that may be resulting in symptoms. They are:
(b)Computerized tomography (CT scan)
(c)Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
3. Arthroscopy: In some cases, your doctor can insert a flexible tube in your joint called an arthroscopy through an incision near the joint. They can see the inside of the joint through this.
Treatments and Drugs For Arthritis
Diminishing symptoms and improving joint function is the goal of the treatment plan for arthritis. Several combination of treatments or a singular treatment can work to treat this disease. Commonly used medicines are:
2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
4. Disease modifying ant rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
Therapy: In some cases physical therapy can be helpful. Exercise can move the joints more frequently and strengthen the joint muscles.
Surgery: If conservative methods don’t prove fruitful, then your doctor can suggest surgery. It can be for joint replacement or joint fusion.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies:
1. Weight loss: Try to lose weight as it will remove stress from the joints.
2. Exercise: Regular exercise will help the joint to be more flexible in movement.
3. Hot and Cold fomentation: Heating pads and ice packs can relieve you from arthritis pain.
4. Assistive Devices: Using canes, walkers or toilet seats can make your life more comfortable.
Some people use alternative remedies for arthritis. These are as follows:
3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
4. Yoga and Tai chi