WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Your body’s joints are not like the joints of a robot. They can’t be oiled when they feel stiff. Yet the joints in your body are mechanical parts, and when they no longer move easily and smoothly, they do not work effectively and comfortably.
What causes the pain?
What causes the stiffness?
What can you do about it?
The first thing to get out of the way is the myth that there is such thing as a single disease called arthritis. The truth is that the word arthritis is about as useful and specific as the word infection; and just as there are over a hundred different types of infection so there are over a hundred different types of arthritis. Because arthritis takes many forms, some with devastating effects on your future health, careful diagnosis as soon as symptoms are noticed, is important. Early detection and prompt treatment can help relieve pain and prevent later complications.
Arthritis affects individuals indifferent ways. Treatments that work for one person with one type of arthritis do not always work for another person with another type. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment, based on the experiences of others, can have potentially harmful effects in that it causes the self-medicator to postpone more appropriate, individualized treatment.If you have symptoms of arthritis, you can help yourself by seeking prompt medical attention and diagnosis.
If someone you love thinks he or she has arthritis, encourage the person to have a professional diagnosis and begin treatment.Knowing more about the various types of arthritis will help you understand the disease and how you can help yourself while following the treatment plan outlined by your physician.
The Wear-And-Tear Disease Osteoarthritis affects more people than any other type.Physicians may refer to it as degenerative joint disease. Patients usually know this disease best as old age arthritis.Why does osteoarthritis occur? In a normal joint a smooth,elastic material called cartilage covers the ends of your bones where they meet. Cartilage enables the bones to glide smoothly across each other and gives joints their flexibility. When the cartilage wears away, it becomes painful to move the joint.
The ends of the bones may develop spurs, or outgrowths, and ligaments and membranes around the bones may thicken. As a result the shape and structure of the joint may change. In reaction to the pain, muscles near the joint may become tense and contract.
As muscles weaken, use of the joint may become more restricted. While each case of osteoarthritis is different, your understanding should begin with the anatomy of bones and joints.While osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, the joints most commonly affected are the weight-bearing ones: knees, hips, and lumbar spine.It often affects the joints of the fingers, the base of the thumb, and the big toe. Physicians categorize cases of osteoarthritis as primary and secondary.
The primary form seems to begin by itself, with no specific cause,while the secondary type may have many causes but often results from too much stress and strain on a joint.
Primary osteoarthritis occurs mostly in women and may have a hereditary component because it seems to appear more in some families than in others. It sometimes begins fairly early in life, even during the late thirties and early forties. Osteoarthritis seems to be quite generalized and affects small joints such as the fingers and toes.
Joint is one of the most obvious parts of our body which ages with an increase in the number of candles on our birthday cakes. As you age, joints tend to become stiffer and less flexible. The body does not recover from bumps and bruises as easily as it did before, and it becomes difficult to stand for extended time intervals. This is caused mostly by a breakdown of cartilage and inflammation of the synovium.
What is cartilage?
Cartilage is a thick rubbery connective tissue. It covers the ends of two bones in a joint. It is softer than bone tissue but less flexible than muscle tissue. Cartilage is responsible for the smooth movement of joints. With age, cartilage begins to degenerate. As the cartilage gets thinner, movement becomes more and more difficult. If left untreated, the cartilage may completely wear off leaving no buffer between the bones. This is one of the leading causes of knee replacement surgery.
What is synovium?
Synovium is a membrane responsible for keeping the cartilage healthy. It produces a thick fluid that keeps the cartilage and joint lubricated. In cases of osteoarthritis, this membrane can swell up and produce excess fluid. This in-turn causes the joint to swell as well.
Along with age, factors like being overweight, genetics, gender and lifestyle also play a role in the condition of your joints. Being obese points towards a sedentary lifestyle and puts extra pressure on joints, leading to the thinning of cartilage. While men have higher chances of becoming osteoarthritis patients before 45, women have higher chances of developing this disease after 50. A healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure that your joints work well even when you're old and grey.
Movement of the joints keeps the fluid in them moving. It also prevents the cartilage from shrinking and stiffening up. Exercise also makes the bones stronger, and slows the rate of bone tissue deterioration. Stretching exercises are also a good way to maintain the flexibility of joints.
Foods that are known as natural anti-histamines, antioxidants and foods that fight inflammation promote healthy joints. Some of these are:
As you get older, avoid putting too much pressure on your joints and give them adequate rest. Lastly, avoid smoking, as people who smoke have an increased risk of cartilage loss.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Word arthritis comes from the Greek arthronmeaning “joint” and the Latin itis meaning “inflammation.” Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. It is the main cause of disability among people above 55 years of age in industrialized countries.
Arthritis is not a single disease – it is an umbrella term that covers more than 100 medical conditions. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and generally affects elderly patients. Some forms of arthritis can affect people at a much younger age.
OSTEOARTHRITIS – usually occurs with age, as cartilage loses elasticity. Risk factors include: old age; joint injury; poorly formed joints; excessive weight; genetic defects; stress on the joints from certain jobs or sports.The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and get worse as time goes by. The most common affected joints are in the hips, hands, knees and spine. The joint become stiff sometimes swollen and loses its flexibility, especially first thing in the morning.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS – is an inflammatory form of arthritis. The synovial membrane (synovium) is attacked, resulting in swelling and pain. If left untreated the arthritis can lead to deformity.
Among the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are swollen, inflamed, stiff and painful joints. The fingers, arms, legs and wrists are most commonly affected. Symptoms are usually worse on waking in the morning but get better half an hour later. Weight loss is common.
INFECTIOUS ARTHRITIS (septic arthritic) – is an infection in the synovial fluid and tissues of a joint. It is usually caused by bacteria, but could also be caused by fungi or viruses.
Symptoms of infectious arthritis include fever, joint inflammation and swelling. Tenderness with joint pain is always noticeable. Usually symptoms are linked to injuries or other illnesses.
JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRTIS (JRA) – means arthritis that affects a person aged 16 or under.
As one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine, homeopathy is a safe and permanent way of eliminating arthritis. A remedy is chosen based on the theory of individualization and symptom similarity. In this way, a state of complete health can be regained, removing all the signs and symptoms from which a patient is suffering.
As we age, we start losing bone mass and density. Cartilage starts wearing away and many people start to develop degenerative joint disease.
How do we slow the degenerative process?
The right diet, exercise and a healthy life style can help us slow down the degenerative process
A diet rich in collagen: Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, soy milk etc contain collagen which is the main protein found in connective tissue that helps to keep the ligaments and tendons flexible.
Yogurt, cheese, fortified cereals, orange juice etc contain calcium and Vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight also helps our body to synthesize Vitamin D.
Exercise can help to preserve and maintain joint mobility. Being overweight can put extra pressure on the joint and worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Yoga, walking, swimming, etc are great for joint flexibility and improving muscle strength.
In ayurveda there are many herbs that have anti inflammatory properties which help in combating the degenerative process. Ashwagandha, turmeric, guggulu etc are few of the herbs with anti inflammatory properties. Regular massaging can also help to strengthen the muscles and bones.
1. Pain in just one joint like knee joint. It can be due to osteoarthritis. It is quite common in older people but it can sometimes affect younger people, especially those who are overweight or those who have had serious injuries to the joint in the past.
The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body
I am a maxillofacial surgeon, I wish to highlight few points in regard of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or else called as jaw joint pain.
1) joint pain takes time to relieve, it goes slowly.
2) soft diet is must.
3) splints should be worn all day except while eating, it's thickness vary according to severity of tmj problem and it should be decided by your dentist.
Any other query, I am happy to help.