Arthritis is the inflammatory disease or condition of the musculoskeletal system mainly targeting the joints. Arthritis is common in the people of the industrialized countries. There are almost 100 various types of arthritis seen in our body. The most commonly seen arthritis all over the world is the osteoarthritis. Arthritis is the slowly progressing wear and tear of cartilage of joints. Arthritis affects a single joint or the multiple joints in the body. Arthritis disables the joint mobility and burdens the normal living life.
Common types of arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis – it is the chronic inflammatory and systemic disease of major joints.
- ANKYLOSING SPONDILITIS – a progressive inflammatory condition affecting the spine.
- JUENILE ARTHRITIS – arthritis commonly seen in the children’s.
- INFECTIOUS ARTHRITIS – arthritis occurring mainly due to the infections affecting the joint.
- FIBROMYALGIA – is the chronic illness and pain associated with various other signs.
- GOUT – a deficit in the uric acid metabolism leads to painful inflammation in the smaller joints of hands and feet.
- SYSTEMIC ERYTHEMATOUS LUPUS – an auto immune disorder in which the immune system affecting the own body cells and tissue causing inflammation.
- HAEMORRHAGIC ARTHRITIS – bleeding in the joints leading to the inflammation of joint.
Causes and risk factors for arthritis
The main cause for arthritis is still unknown. There are various risk factors involved in the cause for arthritis as follows
- Ageing – is the main reason for arthritis. As the age progresses the joint are characterized by the degenerative changes. Osteoarthritis is the main arthritis affecting the old age people.
- Over weight – puts extra pressure on the weight bearing joint and joint surfaces, leading to wear and tear of the joint cartilages and more easily lead to arthritis.
- Genetic factors – certain type of genes have the tendency to develop arthritis.
- Sports injury – sudden twist in the joints in the vigorous sportive activity.
- Profession accidents – some jobs nature have the direct cause for arthritis with additional stress.
- Infections – caused by bacteria and viruses and fungi have the triggering effects.
- Auto immune diseases – immune system affecting our body.
- Exercising beyond body limit – unwanted stretch or strain in the exercise movements.
- Medication side effects – some medications have the triggering effects on the arthritic conditions.
- Over stress on joint – excess stress on the joint will make the wear and tear of the joint surface and leads to arthritic conditions.
- Earlier injuries – injuries already occurred have high risk in developing as the arthritis.
Common Signs and symptoms
- Pain – upon weight bearing or walking or standing
- Swelling – affected joint swells due to collection of fluid.
- Stiffness of joint surfaces – makes the movement of joint very difficult.
- Laxity of ligaments
- Popping sound in joints – sound heard while moving the joint. Sometime with pain.
- Chronic fatigue – severe tired condition, feeling uneasy of the body movements.
- Wastage of muscle – mainly around the joint affected. This is due to the restriction in the movement of the joints affected.
Test for arthritis
The doctors conduct a physical examination to check for the joint mobility, swelling interferences, and muscle wastages. Blood test is easier to find most of the arthritic conditions. Various factors checked in blood test are:
- C – Reactive protein – to check for the amount of inflammations present.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate – point out the intensity of inflammation.
- Check for antibody antinuclear presence
- Check for the counts of RBC,WBC, and platelets
- Check for other content in the blood chemistry
- CREATININE presence in the blood – HIGH level of CREATININE indicates arthritis.
- Uric acid level in the blood – high uric acid determines the gout attack.
IMAGE test will diagnose the arthritis better than blood tests. Few image tests done are X-ray, MRI scan, ULTRASOUND, and BONE DENSITY SCAN. Joint aspiration is another technique to detect arthritis.
Management of arthritis
Arthritis cannot be cured it can only be controlled for life time. Medications to ease the symptoms of arthritis are
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, NABUMETONE, and NAPROXEN and PIROXYCAM.
- Analgesic(pain killers) – ASPIRIN,ACETAMINOPHEN, IBUPROFEN, NARCOTICS OXYCODONE, PROPOXYPHENE AND CODEINE
- Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs – these are time-consuming and second line medicines usually take about week or month to be effective.
- Biologic drugs – INTERLEUKIN 2 AND INTERFERON.
Various care to be taken for the pain management using pain killers and other basic management care. There is lot of natural remedies available for the arthritis conditions. Some topical creams are available for applying on the joints. In severe conditions or in case of drugs side effects or inconvenience in living, surgery is the best option. The surgery may be total replacement or the partial replacements.
how to prevent arthritis
- Regular exercise program – morning walk is the best way, but moderate exercise will reduce stress on the joints.
- Healthy life style – living life with the avoidance of stress.
- Nutritious diet plan – diet must be rich in food and vegetables.
- Careful weight bearing – weight should be equally transferred and reduce direct stress on the joints.
- Proper medication for old age people
- Weight management – shed weight before it could form arthritic condition.
- Vitamin and minerals – Keep the vitamin and mineral need of body under control, mainly the vitamin C and D and take enough calcium in the diet.
- Avoiding vigorous sports activities – sports activity will twist the joint and cause serious tear of the joint materials. Careful play with precautions will prevent injuries to joints.
- Preventing from infections of bacteria and viruses.
These are the preventive measures to stay away from arthritis and the life style changes need to be done to manage the arthritic conditions.
Pain management is the most important part in the treatment of the arthritis. The arthritic person should be aware of their condition and proper care should be undergone. Most of the occurrence of the arthritis is by the infectious conditions, so care from being infected should be followed. Arthritis is the disease of the joints burdening the normal life activities.