Arthritis is the joint disease where you have inflamed or swelled joints with severe pain. It restricts you from moving and makes your joint stiff and painful and it worsens with increasing age. The common types of Arthritis are rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to break down gradually and rheumatoid Arthritis is basically the autoimmune disorder which targets the synovium, the lining of the joints. Infections or other underlying diseases and uric acid crystals cause other types of Arthritis in patients. The treatment plan is decided based on the type of Arthritis you are having. However, the prime goal of the treatment is to reduce the symptoms of Arthritis and to enhance the overall quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

The most common signs of Arthritis involve the joints. However, the symptoms vary depending upon the type of Arthritis you are suffering from and this may include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Severe pain
  • Reduced range of mobility and movement

The Causes of Arthritis

There are two different types of Arthritis – Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and both the conditions damage the joints in a variety of ways.

  • Osteoarthritis – This is the common type of Arthritis and it involves tear and wear of the cartilage in joints. Cartilage is the slick and hard coating at the edges of the bones. Damaging of cartilage can lead to bone grinding over time and this cause severe pain and also limits your movements. Wear and tear of the cartilage may occur over several years and it may also be hastened by an infection or joint injury.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is the autoimmune disease where the immune system of body attacks the lining of the joint capsule which is the hard membrane that encloses the joint parts. Synovial membrane in joins become inflamed and swollen and this process can damaged the cartilage and bone present within your joints.

What Are the Risk Factors and Complications?

The risk factor includes:

  • Anyone in the family with Arthritis increases your chance for developing Arthritis in future.
  • The risk of other types of Arthritis including rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout increases along with the growing age
  • Women are at great risk of developing rheumatoid Arthritis, while other people may have gout or other types of Arthritis
  • Joint injury while playing sports or due to accident can also cause Arthritis in joints
  • Obesity is another factor which can put excessive stress on joints and hence they have higher risk of developing Arthritis.

Complications include restricted movement and mobility, difficulty in performing your daily tasks.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Doctors check the joints for redness, swelling and warmth in the physical test. Doctors may also ask for other test to confirm the presence of Arthritis. The tests include

  • Lab Tests – In the test different body fluid is tested and examined to find out the type of Arthritis you are having
  • Imaging – X-Ray, CT Cans, MRI and Ultrasound are also performed in order to check the presence of Arthritis and it also confirms the type of Arthritis you are having.
  • Arthroscopy – This is the type of test where doctor check the damage in joints simply by inserting flexible tube called arthroscope via an incision neat joint. It transmits images from inside the joint in screen through which they recognize the type of Arthritis and the severity of the condition.

Treatments of Arthritis

The treatments for Arthritis usually focus on alleviating the symptoms of Arthritis and improving the joint functions. Patients have to try different treatments and combinations of treatments to get relief from Arthritis.

Medications are also prescribed to treat the Arthritis conditions and the medications prescribed vary upon the type of Arthritis you are having. Apart from medicines, doctors may also ask the patients to undergo physical therapy which can help patients to get relief from Arthritis. Workouts are there which can improvise the range of motion and also make the muscles surrounding tissues stronger.

In some serious conditions, surgery is also prescribed like joint replacement or joint fusion. These are the surgery which are perform to remove damaged joints and replace it with artificial one.

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