What is Arthritis?
Inflammation of the joints is commonly known as arthritis which can affect either one joint or multiple joints at a time. There are more than hundred different types of arthritis known to mankind and each come with their different Causes and Treatment. However, there are two that are extremely common and they are:
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Arthritis usually develops over time, but in some cases, it may come suddenly out of the blue. It most commonly occurs in adults who are over the age of 65 but in some cases, it might also develop in children, teens and even younger adults. It is a Disease that affects more women than men and especially common in people who are overweight.
The general arthritis Symptoms apart from pain in the muscles has been mentioned below for your understanding. Even though it is something that is most common in the elders, the others should also keep a lookout for such recurring Symptoms.
- Extreme joint pain which makes it difficult to walk
- Stiffness in the muscles causing difficulty in movement
- Swelling of the knees and acute pain
- Decrease in your range of motion while performing daily activities
- Redness of the skin especially around the joint area
- Loss of appetite and the feeling of always being tired especially in the case of RA.
- Slight fever and decrease in red blood count levels
The Signs and Symptoms of arthritis are said to be heightened during the morning time as observed by people Diagnosed with the Disease.
Who is at Risk?
Any individual can develop arthritis but there are some individuals who are more prone to the Risk of arthritis. We have noted down some red flags that you should keep a lookout for so you can get arthritis Treatment done in the early stages itself if needed.
- There are certain types of arthritis that runs in the family so if your parents or siblings are Diagnosed with it, then you are most likely to get it too.
- Age plays a major role in this Disease. The chances of developing certain types of arthritis increases with age.
- As mentioned above, women are more prone to getting RA while men are more prone to getting gout, another type of arthritis.
- An individual who has injured a joint injury maybe while playing sports or due to some other activity can develop it.
- Being obese and carrying around that extra weight puts pressure on the joints.
Let us now explore what Causes arthritis and if you might find yourself in a position to be taking arthritis medicines:
- Cartilage is a connective tissue present in the joints that protects them by absorbing most of the stress and pressure that comes their way when stress is caused on the joints. When there is a reduction in the amount of cartilage in the body, then it can cause arthritis.
- Normal wear and tear in the body is said to be one of the most common Causes.
- A history of the Disease in the family makes you prone to it too.
- When the tissues of the body are attacked by the immune system which affects the functioning of the joints.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
An arthritis doctor is the best person to consult when you suspect that you might be suffering from arthritis. Mentioned below we have noted down how a typical arthritis Diagnosis process looks like:
- The doctor will first consider all the Symptoms that you are facing and then conduct a physical examination to check for any swelling in your joints or for any loss of motion.
- Depending on what he finds out, then he will ask you to get some arthritis test done which includes basics like blood tests and X-Rays.
- A blood test for arthritis and X-rays will help to determine and understand which arthritis you might be Diagnosed with.
- A rheumatoid arthritis Diagnosis will reveal that there are antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) present in their blood.
- An X-ray is usually done to Diagnose osteoarthritis which means that there is a loss of cartilage that has happened. Additionally, to that it will also reveal that some bone spurs and bone rubbing to bone has also taken place.
- A doctor may also conduct joint aspiration which means using a needle to draw out some small sample of fluid from the joint that has to be tested. This is done to rule out some other types of arthritis.
- In case if the doctor suspects that you might have gotten infectious arthritis because of a complication from other Disease, then taking some sample fluid from the joint that is affected will help to confirm the Diagnosis and then whatever necessary action has to be taken will be determined.
These are some of the most common and practised ways to Diagnose this Disease which is followed by the best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis and a general doctor who Treats arthritis as well. Always consult a doctor and do not do self-Diagnosis at any point.
How is Arthritis Treated?
The Treatment of arthritis is a mix of things that an individual needs to do in order for it to become better fast:
- The doctor will recommend getting adequate rest so that you do not put pressure on your joints.
- If needed some physical therapy or occupational therapy will also be recommended to the individual
- A mix of some simple exercise also with some prescribed drugs will have to be taken by the person affected.
- In extreme cases if the person affected needs surgery then the doctor will help you get in touch with some good orthopedicians who will perform the surgery on you.
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How can Arthritis be Prevented?
There are certain types of arthritis that are genetic however developing a few healthy habits along the way can help you keep the Disease at bay.
- Include omega 3 fatty acids in your diet which helps in reducing inflammation in the body. You can either eat fish or get it through supplements.
- Keep a check on your weight and your BMI so that you are never really putting pressure on your knees. They have to be kept strong enough to support your body.
- Include minimum thirty minutes of exercise in your daily routine so that you can strengthen your muscles around the joints.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle that includes movement and a healthy diet.