Arthritis: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

arthritis joint

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a health condition that causes swelling in the joints. You would feel severe pains, stiffness, redness and swelling in your joints. Arthritis is common with people age 60 and above but anyone can have arthritis.

What are the Types of Arthritis?

There are over 100 types of Arthritis but we would talk about Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Gout.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system begins to attack its tissues including joint lining. This can cause painful swelling, joint erosion and joint deformation.

Osteoarthritis 

This occurs when the protective tissues at the end of the bone wear off over time. This is the most common form of arthritis affecting millions of people globally. This could equally lead to joint damage and deformation over time. 

Gout

This is also a common form of arthritis, it occurs mostly in the joints of the big toe. It results from too much presence of Uric acid in the body.

What are the causes of Arthritis?

Several factors could lead to arthritis some of which are

  • Genetical makeup.
  • Abnormal metabolism.
  • Infections.
  • Immune system dysfunction. 
  • Injury.
  • Involvement in intense sports.
  • Ageing.

What are the symptoms of Arthritis?

  • Swelling 
  • Pain in the joints
  • Redness of the skin
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Reduced motion range in the joints

How is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider carries out a physical exam on you to check for swelling, redness and limited range of motion in the joints.

Blood tests that check for specific types of antibodies can also be carried out.

You can book a consultation with Agape Diagnostic Hospital today

Risk factors for Arthritis?

  • Age: People who are 65years and older are at risk of Arthritis.
  • Obesity: Individuals who have excess weight puts pressure on the joints especially the knees, hips and spine thereby increasing the risk for Arthritis.
  • Family history: Some families have a specific type of Arthritis running in their history.
  • Gender: Women are at greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis while men are at greater risk of developing gout arthritis.
  • Joint Injury: Individuals especially sportsmen who have injured their joints before can later develop arthritis in that joint.

How is Arthritis treated?

Arthritis has no cure but it can be treated or managed. Some of the treatment for Arthritis includes;

  • Physical therapy to improve the range of motion of the joints and help improve strength.
  • Recommendation of pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs may help to relieve arthritis symptoms.
  • Joint replacement surgery is also carried out on hips and knees. Your healthcare provider may recommend a joint fusion if the arthritis is more severe on the wrists or fingers.

How is Arthritis prevented?

  • Keep a healthy body weight
  • Avoid the intake of tobacco products
  • Lower the risk of joint injuries
  • Maintain a non-weight bearing exercise.
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