It refers to a condition that includes inflammation of the joints, mainly swelling or weakness in one or more of the joints. It clearly expresses the numerous situations affecting the various joints and connective tissues in the body. Several symptoms can be noticed while suffering from such disease but mainly your body becomes prone to joint pain and stiffness.
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that protects the joints by preventing them from shocks. A reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage causes the development of arthritis in the body.
Symptoms Of Arthritis
As described earlier, its symptoms usually depend on the type of arthritis a person is suffering from, but mainly it focuses on-
- Redness of joint around the skin
- Feeling of tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Slight fever
- Decrease in the range of motion of joint
- Stiffness in joint
- Back Pain
Types Of Arthritis
- Degenerative Arthritis-
It is also referred to as mechanical arthritis. In this, a group of cartilages wears down which are present at the end of bones. The main function of the cartilage is to make the joints run glide and more smoothly. A sufferer’s joints become weaker and rougher.
It easily affects the joints of the hands, knees, hips, and spine. It can easily be operated, although its damage cannot be reversed. It can also regenerate itself from the last fracture.
Remedies involved are remaining active throughout the day, maintaining a uniform healthy weight, and talk to your doctor online can help to slow down the progression.
- Inflammatory Arthritis-
It results due to the over activeness of the immune system which leads to inflammation in the body. It affects the connective tissues present in the heart, lungs, eyes, skin, and other organs.
The damage is irreversible once a tissue gets worn out. It is a process when the body recruits specific cells and uses complex proteins such as cytokines which assist to kill harmful substances, thus, leading to the growth of arthritis.
It does not expand due to normal reaction to injuries or infection but may harm the nearby located joints and also the underlying bones.
- Infectious Arthritis-
It is an infection that is caused due to pain and stiffness in any particular joint. It mainly occurs when foreign bacteria, fungi, virus or a parasite enters the body.
Such an infection may often arise from a mild fever or chills. Sometimes it mainly strikes the knees, hips, ankles, and wrists. In rare cases, it may affect more than one joint.
You may seek help online for this infection, there are many doctors available, for that you may need your x-rays reports or previous reports which have been prescribed by your doctor. These are usually cured by opting for antibiotics and joint drainage.
- Metabolic Arthritis-
It is a type of arthritis that is caused due to the excessive secretion of uric acid into the bloodstream from where it travels out to the kidneys. From there it passes out as urine.
Some people have a high level of uric acid naturally in the body, but, sometimes may not excrete quickly enough. Uric acid is a chemical that is usually formed by the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are created from certain food or formed in human cells.
It commonly affects the toe, joints in the foot, knee, elbow, wrist, and fingertips. Arthritis such as Gout can either come and go or become chronic if uric acid levels are not reduced.
- Reactive Arthritis-
It is an inflammation that results as a reaction to an infection. Earlier, it was referred to as Reiter’s syndrome, which was linked to eye, urethra, and joint inflammation.
It is usually transmitted from bacteria related to food poisoning or can be sexually transmitted from a bacteria called Chlamydia. It can completely disappear within 12 months.
If a person develops joint pain within one month of suffering from diarrhea or genital infection then the patient must talk to a doctor.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis-
It is a chronic inflammatory disease that harms more than one joint at a time but on both sides of the body equally.
It usually affects the joints of wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles. A patient may have chest pain while breathing, eyes may go dry, or may face difficulties while sleeping.
It is a very disfiguring form of arthritis. It is very significant to control the inflammation to stop joint destruction. As the joint becomes inflamed causing damage to the joint tissue.
- Psoriatic Arthritis
It is an inflammation that harms only those who contain psoriasis in the body. This psoriasis causes the topped skin to fill with red patches of silvery scales.
It can cause scars anywhere on the body mainly over the knees, elbows, and scalp. It may also affect the ears from the inside, buttock creases, and groins. Normally the change of color of nails is noticed.
Factors that may lead to increased risks under such arthritis can be family history or a person aging from 30 to 50 years. It may also increase the chances of cardiovascular problems, increase BMI and C- reactive protein.
- Septic Arthritis-
It is an infection that is caused in joint fluid and joint tissues. In this arthritis, germs enter the body through injection, surgery, or injury into the bloodstream.
Infants are more likely to get affected by such diseases than elderly people.
Humans with artificial joints are likely to develop septic arthritis. It can easily damage the cartilages and tissues within the joint.
Early diagnosis is very crucial for such diseases. It involves phlegm, spinal fluids, urine tests, and blood tests. The process of diagnosis starts with a medical history.
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Officially referred to as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is commonly found in children under the age of 16. It is an umbrella term that covers all the diseases affecting children.
It can cause muscles to erode, joints to misalign, growth patterns to change and muscle and soft tissue to tighten. A baby may remain affected for a limited time of few months or a lifetime.
There are various subtypes of such arthritis such as systemic, oligoarticular, and polyarticular. To finalize the exact cause the doctor needs to examine the number of joints affected, fever, and rashes which are prominent reasons.
Risk factors for arthritis-
- Age – The risk of arthritis always increases with age.
- Sex – most arthritis is common in women such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Obesity – carrying excess weight increases pressure on joints particularly the knees, spine, and hips. The higher the weight higher is the risk of obesity.
- Previous sports injury- a person who has experienced an injury in the joint in the past is more likely to develop arthritis in the later phase of life.
- Lifestyle Pattern-hectic schedules with lack of exercise or smoking increase the chances of arthritis.
Causes Of Arthritis-
There are various causes for the development of arthritis in the body depending upon its type. General causes can be-
- Osteoarthritis is caused due by inheritance
- Degenerative arthritis is caused due to injury in joint
- Immune system dysfunction
- Poor nutrition
- Old age
- Imbalance of foreign substances in the body
- Wearing out of the cartilage in joints
Treatment Of Arthritis-
Arthritis is not completely curable, but treatment is available to reduce the pain to some extent. Various treatments have been discovered for different arthritis effects. Some common treatments are-
- Intake of medicines
- Physical exercise
- Applying non-pharmacologic therapies
- Massaging the joint affected
- Analgesics- help reduce pain but do not assist in decreasing inflammation.
- Immunosuppressants- assists in decreasing inflammation.
- Menthol or capsaicin creams resist the transmissions of pain signals from joints.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-drugs such as salicylates help to reduce pain and inflammation. Salicylates can make the blood thin, so they should be used cautiously.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD’s)- slows and stops the
foreign substances to attack the joints such as hydroxychloroquine, and others.
- Corticosteroids– weakens the immune system and reduces inflammation.
- Biologics-it is used with DMARDs. These are genetically modified drugs that
target various protein molecules which assist in immune responses.
- There are various natural therapies for arthritis affecting the joints.
- For example- turmeric is a natural supplement that helps in diagnosing but some scientists believe it is necessary to carry out some experiments to declare it effective.
- Numerous herbs and spices such as black pepper, garlic, and ginger can be used to reduce inflammation.
- People with arthritis must participate in joint-friendly activities such as swimming, cycling, and walking for a better quality of life.
- Exercises help in strengthening muscles around the affected parts of joints which is the essence of arthritis treatment.
- Sometimes massage, ice packs, and hot packs can be used for pain-relieving treatments.
Sometimes doctors recommend surgeries in rare cases, like diseases in which treatments cannot reduce inflammation. It involves two kinds of surgeries-
- Fusion- under this method two or more bones are fused permanently together to reduce painful inflammation.
- Joint Replacement-doctors recommend replacing the affected joint with the artificial one, especially the joints in the knees, ankle, shoulders, and hips.