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A Simple Guide to Arthritis

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1944 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata  •  32 years experience
A Simple Guide to Arthritis

One of the most common ailments the elderly suffer from is arthritis. However, arthritis can affect people of all ages. It is a rheumatic disease as in, it affects joints and bones. It can be of many types and the term covers a number of inflammatory and non-inflammatory joint diseases. Some of the most well-known types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs, gout, and osteoarthritis.

The causes of arthritis have not been defined but there are a number of factors that increase a person's chances of getting it. Foremost amongst these is increasing age and excess weight. Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus are said to be hereditary and linked to certain genes. Sometimes, injuries can also cause arthritic conditions. Misuse of steroids can also result in arthritis.

Here is a look at the most common symptoms of the disease :-

  • Pain around the joints is the most well-known symptom of arthritis. Along with pain, you may also notice swollen or stiff joints.
  • Increased body temperature around the affected joints and redness in the area is also a symptom of arthritis. These symptoms range from mild to severe, and can be constant or may come and go.
  • Everybody suffers from occasional joint pains but if any of the above symptoms persist for a long duration, it is best to consult a doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it becomes to deal with arthritis. If left untreated for too long, arthritis can result in permanent joint damage.
     

While there is no single cure for arthritis, it can be effectively controlled if treated in time. Since the type and severity of arthritis differ from person to person, treatment for the same must also be tailored to the needs of the individual.

  • Drugs for arthritis can be categorized as those that treat symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and those that suppress inflammatory conditions.
  • In some cases, surgery may be advisable.
  • Physical therapy and regular exercise are very important when dealing with arthritis.
  • It is equally important to eat a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, try and lose the excess kilos.
  • You must also look after your joints to ensure that there is no further degradation of bone or muscle tissue. Avoid staying in one position for a long time, and try and maintain a good posture.

These simple techniques can be very effective when dealing with all types of arthritis.

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