Everything You Need To Know About Arthritis
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a group of diseases that affect the joints and produce inflammation or swelling.
Arthritis is a broader term that describes almost 200 diseases that cause inflammation of joints, the tissue surrounding the joints, and other connective tissue. Joint is an area of a body where different bones are connected e: g fingers, hips, wrists, or knees.
Arthritis can be developed sudden or gradual. It affects people of all ages, including children, but most commonly occurs in adults over the age of 60. Women are more affected than males.
STRUCTURE OF JOINT AND ARTHRITIS
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that protects the joints from shocks. When the amount of cartilage tissue is reduced causes different forms of arthritis.
COMMON TYPES OF ARTHRITIS
- Osteoarthritis: An infection that causes the natural breakdown of cartilage tissue.
- Rheumatic arthritis: It is an autoimmune disorder that affects the lining of joints (synovial membrane) and damages both joint and cartilage.
SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS
Arthritis symptoms are redness, immobility, muscle stiffness, pain, insomnia, inability to do any physical work, swelling of joints, rigidity, weight reduction, tiredness.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT ARTHRITIS
- It is a group of diseases.
- There is no exact medication for arthritis. The main goal is to reduce pain.
- Proper diagnosis is essential.
- Physical activities can reduce the risk of arthritis because the Ideal body mass index (BMI) is significant.
- Severe arthritis can cause functional disability.
- Autoimmune disorder and genetic disruption cause severe arthritis.
- The first step for the treatment of arthritis is an accurate diagnosis.
- For diagnosis, the physician will perform a physical Examination (swelling of joints).
- For confirmation of diagnosis, blood tests and x-rays are performed.
- Blood tests for antibodies e: g RF (Rheumatoid Factors) will be performed to diagnose rheumatic arthritis
- X-rays and CT-scan will be done for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
As there is no specific treatment for arthritis, the main goal of treatment is to reduce the pain and save the lives of patients. Patients can be treated with the following interventions:
- Analgesics: are used for the management of pain (Acetaminophen).
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: are used to reduce the inflammation (Ibuprofen).
- Menthol containing creams and ointments are used to stop the transmission of pain signals.
- Methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine are used as immunosuppressant.
- Proper diet – fish, nuts, olive oils
- Physical activities
- Maintaining of idea Body mass index (BMI)
- Regular follow-ups
Patient awareness and assistance
- Proper guidance
- Maintenance of proper nutrition chart
- Counseling session
- Swimming in warm water
- Protection of joints with aids during work to avoid any damage.
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