Arthritis is misunderstood probably due to the fact that the word itself is a fairly common word. “Arthritis” is not actually a single disease, rather it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are over 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis
Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decrease the range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. These symptoms may remain constant for a couple of years but may progress or aggravate over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. This condition can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.
Other symptoms include:
- Slight fever
- Loss of appetite
Its symptoms usually develop over time, but may also appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can develop in children, teens, and younger adults.
Causes of Arthritis:
The exact cause of arthritis is unknown. However, scientists have stated the following to be possible causes:
- A reduction in the normal amount of cartilage tissues could cause some forms of arthritis.
- Normal wear and tear cause osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis.
- RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body.
Treatment for arthritis varies based on the type of the disease. However, there are combinations of treatment methods which will help achieve the best results.
Medication, Surgery and Physical therapy are among the methods used in treating arthritis.
A number of different types of medication treat arthritis. They include:
- analgesics, (for example, acetaminophen) which are effective for pain management. However, they don’t help in decreasing inflammation
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen. These drugs help in controlling pain and inflammation.
- menthol or capsaicin creams which aid in blocking the transmission of pain signals from the joints.
Surgery could be recommended for artificial replacement of joints. This form of surgery is most commonly performed to replace hips and knees.
If the condition is most severe in your wrists or fingers, a joint fusion might be recommended by your doctor. In this procedure, healing is done by locking the ends of your bones together until they become one.
This involves engaging in exercises that would help strengthen the muscles around the affected joint is a core component of arthritis treatment.
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