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Arthritis : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

arthritis

Arthritis is a joint disroder characterised by the swelling, tenderness and stiffness of the joints. Their are more than 100 types of arthritis in the world but Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are most common forms of it.

Most commonly affected body parts are:

  • Hands
  • Knees
  • Hip
  • Feet
  • Lower Back

How does it happen?

Rheumatoid arthritis – In this type of arthritis our body’s immune system attacks the synovial fluid of joints, it is the fluid which acts as a protective layer and lubricant in joint spacing. without this fluid our joints get rubbed on each other and causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis – It is the most common type of arthritis in the world, in which joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress.

How common is arthritis ?

It is estimated that it is one of the most common disease in united states. Around 50 million adults and 300,000 children’s are affected with arthritis every year.

Causes of arthritis

  • Family history – it is noticed that many of the forms of arthritis run in families. If any of your parents have arthritis, then you might also get arthritis at some point of life.
  • Gender – Women’s are more prone to rheumatoid arthritis than men’s. While men are more prone to gout than women’s.
  • Age – Older people are at more risk of getting arthritis than younger peoples.
  • Obese people – Extra weight causes more stress to the bones and may lead to tearing of the bone cartilage.
  • Joint injury – Previous joint injury can also lead to arthritis, like sport injury can also lead to arthritis if not treated fully.

Treatment of arthritis

Since arthritis is not completely treatable and hence symptomatic management is used as a treatment. It mainly focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.

You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you can determine which will work best for you.

Medication for arthritis

  • NSAIDs – Painkillers like Paracetamol, Etoricoxib, Ibuprofen, Naproxen etc. these painkillers can be used to reduce the amount of pain and swelling of joints.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs – this class of drugs are capable of altering the state of arthritis like regeneration of synovial fluid and rebuild cartilage. e.g MSM, Glucoronic acid, Collagen, Hyaluronic acid.
  • Steroids – Corticosteroid is one of the most commonly used steroid category in arthritis. They effectively reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints.
  • Counterirritants – Most commonly and widely used by the arthritis patients. Menthol, Diclofenac, capsaicin are most commonly used in the counterirritant creams or gel.

Recommended Lifestyle changes

  • Lose excess amount of weight and fats.
  • Stay active, do sports or running or daily walk.
  • Eat calcium rich foods or take calcium supplements.
  • Do yoga if possible.
  • Light exercise is must to get rid of muscle and joint stiffness.
  • Use heating pads to relieve joint pain and swelling.

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