What are the Different Kinds of Arthritis and How to Treat Them?
Arthritis is a very common medical condition that affects a lot of adults as they age. It occurs due to inflammation of the joints, which can be caused by a number of factors such as aging, injury or infection. There are over a hundred different kinds of arthritis that cause various sorts of problems to those affected. However, this condition can be broadly classified into two major types, which include the following:
- Osteoarthritis- Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common kind of chronic condition to affect the joints. This occurs when the cartilage that surrounds the joint wears away and allows the ends of bones to rub against each other causing immense pain and is often accompanied by inflammation and swelling. The primary cause of osteoarthritis is aging, obesity and occurs mainly due to pressure on the joints.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis- This is the most common type of arthritis that occurs due to joint inflammation. It is an autoimmune condition, which means that it is caused by a dysfunction of the immune system that leads to inflammation of the joints. Chronic inflammation causes joint deformities and even the development of rheumatoid nodules on the skin around the joint. Two-thirds of patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis are women.
Depending on the nature of the condition and the age and medical history of the patient, diagnosis and treatment of arthritis varies. Although there is no permanent cure for arthritis, especially the type caused by aging, a number of remedies exist that provide relief from pain.
Some of the common methods of treatment for arthritis are:
- Medication- Some medicines provide relief from the pain of arthritis if it is not too severe. These include painkillers, anti-inflammatory pills, sprays, and ointments, etc. In case of high-intensity pain, codeine is often prescribed.
- Stem Cell Therapy or PRP Therapy- This method involves drawing platelets from the patient's own blood and injecting it into the inflamed parts of the joint in order to repair damaged muscles and alleviate pain. This treatment stimulates natural healing process of body and is free from side effects.
- Injections- A number of anti-inflammatory substances and lubricants can be injected into the affected joints to decrease pain. Ozone gas injections or hyaluronic acid injections are an example of this.
- Intramuscular Stimulation- Targeted treatment of tender points in muscle help to relieve muscle spasm associated with arthritis and also improves joint mobility and decreases pain.
- Surgery- In extreme cases, surgical procedures are resorted to for treating arthritis. However, successful surgery cannot always be guaranteed and it comes with its own set of risks. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a rheumatologist and ask a free question.