What is Arthritis? Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

Home » Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Garry Stewart
Written By Shasta Wilson

April 18, 2023

Medical Condition: Arthritis

Arthritis refers to joint inflammation.

But the term “Arthritis” is generally used to describe around 200 health conditions that affect the joints. It is a common disorder that affects the joints. It can cause inflammation and pain while making it difficult for people with the disease to stay active or move. There are several types of Arthritis.

Let us get acquainted with everything you need to know about the disease.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease that majorly affects the joints and their functioning.
It involves the degeneration or inflammation of the joints. And these changes can lead to pains when you use the joint.

It is the most common in the following areas of the body:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Lower Back

Causes of Arthritis

Several factors make a person more likely to develop the disease, including

  • Lifestyle
    Lack of exercise or smoking can augment the risk of disease.
  • Age
    The risk of disease increases as a person gets older.
  • Weight
    Obesity generally puts extra strain on the joints that can lead to the disease.
  • Sex
    Most arthritis types are common in women.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Different types of Arthritis have diverse symptoms. Some patients might experience mild symptoms, while others may experience severe symptoms.

Even the joint discomfort may stay constant in some while others might experience the discomfort come and go. The common symptoms may include

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness

Diagnosis of Arthritis

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, then you must see the doctor as soon as possible. And the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination to make the diagnosis of the disease.

The tests may include

  • Assessing range and mobility of motion in the joints
  • Checking for the areas of swelling and tenderness around the joints
  • Evaluating the overall health to find out if the different health conditions could be causing the symptoms

Can imaging examinations help?

Well, yes! It can help your medical doctor to get a clear picture of the joints, bones, and soft tissues. An ultrasound, X-ray, or MRI can help reveal

  • Dislocations or bone fractures may be the reason for the joint pain
  • Ligament, muscle, or tendon injuries near joints
  • Cartilage breakdown around the joints
  • Soft tissues inflammation

Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a term or disease that generally describes more than 100 diverse joint conditions. The common arthritis types include:

  • Osteoarthritis
    It is also known as wear and tear Arthritis that generally develops when the joint cartilage breaks down due to repeated stress. It is the most common type of Arthritis.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Ankylosing Spondylitis is the Arthritis of the spine that generally covers the lower back.
  • Gout
    Gout refers to a disease that leads to uric acid’s hard crystals forming in the joints.
  • Juvenile Arthritis
    Juvenile Arthritis refers to a disorder where the person’s immune system attacks the tissues around the joint. It usually affects children of 16 years or even younger.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that generally causes the immune system to attack synovial membranes in the joints.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
    Psoriatic Arthritis refers to a joint inflammation that generally develops in people with an autoimmune disorder that leads to skin irritation.

Arthritis Treatment

Though there is no cure for the disease still the treatments can help you manage the health condition. However, the treatment will completely depend on the severity of the disease, symptoms, and overall health.

The treatments may include

  • Medications
    Pain management and anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve the disease symptoms. Several biologics target the immune system’s inflammatory response.
  • Physical therapies
    Rehabilitation can help boost strength, motion range, and overall mobility. Physical therapies can help you adjust to daily activities to lessen the pains.
  • Therapeutic Injections
    Cortisone Shots can help temporarily relieve the inflammation and pain in the joints.
Severe cases may require surgical treatments. These surgical treatments may include fusion or joint replacements to treat the health condition and reduce the pain.

Arthritis Prevention

You can lower the risk of developing a health condition by adapting a few essentials. This includes:

  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Perform low impact and non-weight bearing exercises
  • Reduce the risk of joint injuries

Bottom Line!

Since there is no cure for the health conditions, people with the disease need to manage the health condition for the rest of their lives. This is the reason why people are looking out for natural remedies to deal with the disease.

Therefore, from getting the potent medications to counting on the natural alternatives, people are managing well and finding escape from the health condition.

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