The word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints. Arthritis isn’t a single condition, in fact, there are several different types.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. Keep a lookout for the symptoms that could be directed towards a diagnosis of this leading cause of disability.
Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. It is classified as a condition that affects women more commonly.
Types of arthritis
Two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints. An infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints. These attacks affect the synovium, a soft tissue in your joints that produces a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints.
Scientists have discovered genetic markers that increase your risk of developing these two common forms.
Symptoms of arthritis
To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will consider your symptoms. He will perform a physical exam to check for swollen joints or loss of motion and use blood tests and X-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
X-rays and blood tests also help distinguish the type of arthritis you have. Since they have their particular characteristics.
However, these are the symptoms you need to look out for.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis arthritis may include:
- Joint pain
- Stiffness when you wake up or after you’ve been sitting for a while
- Tenderness – the area is sore when you touch it
- Lack of movement – the joint won’t complete its full range of motion
- Grating – you might feel things rubbing together inside the joint
- Bone spurs – lumps of bone form around the joint
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Joint pain, swelling and tenderness for 6 weeks or longer
- Morning stiffness for at least 30 minutes
- More than one joint affected, especially small joints in your hands, wrists, and feet
- The same joints on both sides of the body are affected
How is arthritis treated?
Arthritis should be given due attention when it comes to being treated.
These medications may provide you with relief. However, do not take them without consultation with your doctor.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Biologic response modifiers
Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.
Your doctor even may suggest surgery if other methods do not work, as the last resort. Joint repair, joint fusion and joint replacement are the types of surgeries that may help.
The buoyancy of the water reduces stress on weight-bearing joints. Therefore, swimming may be a good option for sufferers of arthritis. It goes without saying, exercise is essential. Heating pads or ice packs will also help relieve pain.
What if arthritis is left untreated?
If arthritis is left untreated, it can lead to dreadful conditions. Therefore, it is essential to get treatment ASAP.
These results may occur depending on the type of arthritis.
- Joint destruction and deformity
- Loss of function and disability
- Coronary artery disease
- Early death
- Depression and nervous system
What should you eat if you have arthritis?
Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Adding these to your balanced diet may help ease the symptoms of your arthritis.
- Fatty Fish
These are intakes that you need to avoid in order to make your condition better:
- Fried and processed
- Sugars and refined carbs.
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Salt and preservatives
- Corn oil
In general, experts advise people with arthritis to maintain healthy body weight and eat a balanced diet.
Lastly, stop giving in to a sedentary lifestyle. And make sure you are not Vitamin D deficient.
It is the ultimate goal of scientific arthritis research that optimal treatment programs are designed for each of the many forms of arthritis. This field will continue to evolve as developments progress regarding treatments.