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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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Arthritis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is the Definition of Arthritis? What are the Early Signs of Arthritis? What are the Causes of Arthritis? Types of Arthritis How Do You Stop Arthritis From Progressing? What Tests are done to Diagnose to Arthritis? Can Arthritis be Treated? Can Arthritis be Treated Naturally? Food to Eat or Avoid in Arthritis

What is the Definition of Arthritis?

Arthritis is more of an inflammation of the joints and that affects one or multiple joints. There are several different types of arthritis and causes and treatment methods according to the type. The two most common types of Arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The symptoms of Arthritis are not constant and it develops over time. It is not possible for anyone to say if Arthritis will occur at this point in time.

Arthritis is experienced mostly by adults who are over the age 65, however, there are also possibilities that the young adults, children, and teens might experience the same as well. As compared to men, women experience arthritis quickly. Nowadays, considering the work pressure and difference in activities, women who are younger are also experiencing arthritis. Regardless of the fact that there under types of Arthritis present, the symptoms are most likely to be stiffness, swelling, warmth, pain, and redness in the joints.

What are the Early Signs of Arthritis?

Constant joint pain and stiffness are the two most common symptoms to understand if a person has arthritis. The range of motion can also decrease and the person might experience redness around the joints. Most people tend to notice the symptoms usually in the morning. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the person might feel tired or have a loss of appetite because of the inflammation caused by the activities in the immune system.

There are chances that the person has a low red blood cell count making them anemic. If it is not treated properly, then the person might end up with joint deformity. As for osteoarthritis, which one of the most common forms, the reason could be an infection or injury to the joints which will lead to The breakdown of cartilage tissue. This can also occur due to a family history of such diseases.

What are the Causes of Arthritis?

Cartilage is a strong yet flexible connective tissue present in the joint and it protects the same by having the pressure observed and creating a shock every time stress is put upon. If the Normal amount of cartilage tissue is not present or has been decreased then there are high chances of the person being prone to any form of arthritis. Even some normal wear and Tear might cause osteoarthritis. This can also occur due to the similar medical history of the family members. Another common form of Arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis which is mostly considered as an autoimmune disorder.

If the immune system of the body attacks the tissue present in the body, then the person might experience rheumatoid arthritis. This attack disrupts the process of the soft tissue present in the body creating a fluid which further nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints. The latter type might possibly be destroyed the joint and will eventually lead to the destruction of both bones and cartilages. The exact causes for the same are yet to be identified.

Types of Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis - It is the most prevalent kind of arthritis. An injury or aging is usually the cause for osteoarthritis.
  • Autoimmune arthritis - It happens due to the immune system attacking functional cells in the body by accident. The commonest type of this arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Infectious arthritis - It spreads to the joint from a different body part.
  • Juvenile arthritis - It takes place in children.
  • Psoriatic arthritis - People with psoriasis are affected by this.
  • Gout - When there is an excess build-up of uric acid within the body, it leads to gout. It generally originates from the toes. Arthritis can’t be cured but several treatments are available that may successfully alleviate the pain.

How Do You Stop Arthritis From Progressing?

If a person is diagnosed with osteoarthritis they should be worried about the progressive nature of the disease. For any type of arthritis, if the person is being able to detect it in the earlier stages, then they can try some changes in Lifestyle to reduce the impact. According to most of the experts, obesity might be a significant contributing factor to the progression of arthritis. The person must make sure that not much stress is placed on the damage to the joint that might deteriorate the structural integrity of the joint. There could be a dramatic release if the person is able to lose at least five percent of the body weight. Some routine activities can be changed with extra time spent on exercises. Just in case the person is more interested in impact Sports, then they might have to suggest a physician before pursuing any further as it might damage the joints more. Likewise, the person must be adhering to the list of medications as prescribed by the physician.

What Tests are done to Diagnose to Arthritis?

Arthritis diagnosis is best done with the help of a doctor. They will perform a physical examination to make sure of the presence of arthritis and this examination evaluates the presence of fluid around the joints and the motion of joints. If they are severe symptoms with which the person is able to figure out it is mostly arthritis, then it is wise to get an appointment with the Rheumatologist already. This might help in faster diagnosis and treatment. The inflammation levels will first be extracted and analyzed to understand the type of Arthritis the person is suffering from. The blood test will be focusing on the presence of specific types of antibodies.

Can Arthritis be Treated?

The major aim of the treatment is to make sure that the person has a reduced amount of pain in the joints and to prevent any further damage in the joints. Some people might use heating pads or Ice packs to reduce the pain and some use mobility assistance devices according to the intensity of the pain. However, it is dependent on the person who is suffering from arthritis and other factors like their age, bone strength and so on.

The doctor might also prescribe the patients with a combination of treatment methods for better results. Some physicians might prescribe medications like Analgesics and other anti-inflammatory drugs according to the patient condition. Physical therapy and surgeries are prescribed by Doctors according to the intensity of the pain.

Here are some non-surgical treatments of Arthritis

  • Changes in lifestyle - Certain daily habits and changes in life can reduce the spread of the disease and help with the pain as well.
  • Reducing activities that make the condition worse.
  • Changing to activities that reduce impact on the ankles and feet, instead of the high impact ones.
  • Weight loss to decrease the impact on joints for increase in function and pain reduction.
  • Physical therapy - Certain exercises help increase the range of flexibility and motion. The ankle and feet muscles can be built up as well.
  • A physiotherapist or a doctor can create a customised exercise regime to meet your lifestyle and needs. Even though physiotherapy aims to alleviate pain, sometimes it may have the opposite effect due to friction build up on the joints. If this happens, then an alternative treatment needs to be sought and you should immediately consult your doctor.
  • Assistive devices - Walking with a cane or wearing braces might improve mobility. Custom made shoes for arthritis, reduce pain as well.
  • Medications - Painkillers like naproxen and ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling. Cortisone injections may relieve pain and help manage the inflammation. These however, aren’t permanent. Surgery helps with the pain and makes life functional again. It may however take up to 9 months for full recovery.

Can Arthritis be Treated Naturally?

Since there is no specific treatment that may completely cure arthritis, people take natural remedies to reduce the pain. Maintaining a healthy weight might reduce the risk of the progression of osteoarthritis and reduce the symptoms drastically if their problems in the early stages. A healthy diet is an important part of the treatment.

The diet must be full of antioxidants that will help the person reduce inflammation further. Fried foods, processed foods, and other dairy products must be avoided in the diet. A gluten-free diet might improve the symptoms and the progression of the disease. Regular exercises will be helpful in keeping the joints flexible.

Food to Eat or Avoid in Arthritis

Though a proper diet could be a treatment method to help with arthritis, there are certain foods that cannot be included in the intake for people who suffer from pain of arthritis. Considering the fact that inflammation is the primary cause of arthritis, relevant medications that reduce inflammation and pain must be taken.

There is no such specific diet to follow which is why the person must be considering a dietitian or a physician to discuss the food intake. Anti-inflammatory foods should be included in the diet and the foods like fried and processed ones, salt and preservatives, sugary items, dairy products, alcohol, and tobacco must be strictly avoided. On the other hand, garlic, berries, broccoli, fatty fish, Ginger, spinach and other fresh fruits and vegetables could help in maintaining healthy joints.

Popular Questions & Answers

Continuously taking medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate 15 mg hcqs 400 and medrol 4 mg form mid of feb. Tapper steroids dose cause inflammation in knee joints and ankle. What I have to do now. Medrol also cause raise in blood glucose.

MD - General Medicine, Fellow [FACE]
Rheumatologist & Immunologist, Kangra
Increase the dose of methotrexate and saaz. But before that do blood tests and consult rheumatologist. Medrol can be stopped, now ra is not treated by steroids.

I am suffering from rheumatoid arthritis as well psoriasis my age is 29 years only and my Dr. prescribed me folitrax nucoxia and folvite to get rid from this disease I want to ask to the the doctors that I can continue this medicine is it harmful though I dnt feel any side effects yet thanks.

DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Rheumatologist & Immunologist, Gurgaon
If you have psoriasis then its high chance that you may have psoriatic arthritis rather than rheumatoid arthritis. U need to continue these medicines under supervision and regular follow up under a rheumatologist. All medicines do have side effect...
1 person found this helpful

I am 60 years old male. I am rheumatoid arthritis patient last 1 year. I am using kenacort 4 mg, hireto 90 & mecodila plus tablets. No morning stiffness but pain is not going. Ankle, knee, wrist, elbow & shoulder joints are affected. What should I do now?

MS - Orthopaedics, DNB (Orthopedics)
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai
Stop kenacort you need to be started on proper anti rheumatoid medications. Consult on Lybrate for further details thank you.
1 person found this helpful

I am rheumatoid arthritis patient past 1 year. I am using kenacort 4 mg tablet, hireto 90 tablet & mecodila plus tablet. No morning stiffness but pain is not going. Ankle, knee, wrist, elbow & shoulder joints are affected. What should I do now?

DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Rheumatologist & Immunologist, Gurgaon
Hi, you are taking low dose steroid still you joint symptoms are persisting then you should consult a rheumatologist. The pain may be related to arthritis or may be related to some others problems. Consult for further discussion. Thanks.

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