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Arthritis - Know Its Types And Available Treatment Options!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, DNB - Orthopedics, MNAMS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedic Doctor, Pune  •  18 years experience
Arthritis - Know Its Types And Available Treatment Options!

Let’s understand the different types of Arthritis and their best treatment options with the help of common examples from our society.

Case 1: Ever since Hema crossed her 60th birthday, she has constantly had problems with her joints. She was gaining weight over the last 3 to 4 years and had been diagnosed with early diabetes. Earlier, she would walk up to 3km 2 days a week without any issue and climb up and down 2 flights of stairs, gradually the joints slowly started becoming stiff and painful with half of those. She then got diagnosed with osteoarthritis, which is an inflammation of joints which occurs with age. All body movement happens because the joints consisting of bones move with the help of tendons and ligaments. With age, these fibrous tissues lose their elasticity and become rigid and stiff.

Two years down the line, she is back to her normal workout and feels a lot more flexible. Her doctor advised her not just painkillers but lifestyle changes. Osteoarthritis, which is mainly associated with aging, can be treated in the following manner.

Lifestyle changes-

  1. Eat healthy, nutritious food. Women over 50 years of age should take calcium supplements. Avoid junk, processed, and packaged foods
  2. Exercise regularly: Though aging is supposed to slow down the pace of life, regular exercise, especially stretching the muscles and joints is essential to keep the bones and joints agile and functional. Not exercising can be a major risk for osteoarthritis.
  3. Physiotherapy: Once diagnosed with osteoarthritis, physical therapy is extremely helpful in restoring movement and reducing the rate of progression. Depending on the joints affected, a regime has to be drawn up and followed.
  4. Massage of the joints and bones with oils and creams is very helpful in improving circulation.

Case 2: Raj was perfectly normal until he slowly realized that his joints began to hurt during his routine walking and jogging. Not just the legs, even his hands, and arms were affected. The joints became swollen, warm, and painful. It was affecting joints on both sides and a detailed diagnosed revealed that he had rheumatoid arthritis.

This is an autoimmune condition which happens when the body produces antibody against its own tissue. The joints are affected, often on both sides, and they become stiff, tender, and red with a reduced range of motion.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis includes a combination of medications when required, lifestyle changes, exercise, and diet modifications.

  1. Medications to be taken as per advise of treating doctor.
  2. Exercise is directed at the affected joints and also to prevent stiffness of the other joints.
  3. Eating healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

With these treatments, both Hema and Raj are managing their arthritis effectively. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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