What is Arthritis

The bones and joints of the human body are responsible for maintaining the structure, support, and facilitating movement of parts of the body. People depend highly on their body movements to proceed with their daily activities, whether it is for working, playing, doing chores, and many others. Sometimes, when the joints are overworked, one feels pain, and is unable to continue with normal movement. Such conditions are generally termed as arthritis, wherein the joints are swollen and unable to function properly. In other words, arthritis can be explained as the condition when there a group of damages that occur to the various joints of the body.

Arthritis creates quite a dismay in a patient’s life compared to other diseases. The acute pain in the joints and bones consume all their energy in doing simple daily tasks. It is mainly found in the age group above 55. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 50 million adults in America who suffer from one of the many forms of arthritis. In a 2005 report also published by the CDC, people between the ages of 45 and 64 are more likely to have arthritis, and it is a condition that affects more women than men.

Types of Arthritis:

Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is caused as a trauma to the joint followed by infection to that part. It can be caused mainly due to aging and poor health of bones and joints. There is also a theory that an abnormal anatomy also leads to an early osteoarthritis. Data from surveys suggests that there are approximately 21 million adults who have osteoarthritis, while about 2 million have rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Other common forms of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These forms are considered as autoimmune disease where the body is attacking itself. In other words this means that a problem with the body’s defense system causes its cells to attack healthy cells, such as those that form tissues protecting the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis Symptoms:

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the degeneration of the tissues found at the joints of the fingers, wrist, knees, and others. A person may feel swelling and stiffness at the problem areas. Sources claim that women from 25 to 55 years old are likely to have this form of arthritis.

Septic Arthritis

Another rare form of arthritis known as the septic arthritis is also found where the cause is by the infection of the joints.

Cause of Arthritis

What happens to a person’s joints when he or she is afflicted with arthritis? Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that connects bones together at the joints breaks down, causing swelling and pain at the hands, knees, and even the back. As the protective connection between joints wears out, bones tend to rub together, which can be extremely painful and can even destroy bones, preventing many people from moving that body part at all.

Arthritis Diagnosis

Even though the common factor in all the forms of arthritis is the pain, but the pattern and the location of pain varies in each form. The diagnosis is done after considering the history of the onset of pain and the location and the duration of the pain.

The other methods like radiographs are used to find the severity of the arthritis. Additional blood tests and x rays of the affected part can also help in the diagnosis. Some other diseases like osteoporosis, multiple myeloma and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy also have the same kind of pain and symptoms like arthritis and some time can be mistaken for arthritis.

Treatments for Arthritis

The various arthritis treatment options depend on the type and severity of the arthritis. Effective methods include occupational and physical therapy. You can also change the life style in order to control weight . Arthritis exercises also help reduce pain.

Arthritis Medication

There are a few Arthritis Medicines that will help arrest arthritis. Some common arthritis drugs used to relieve the pain caused by osteoarthritis are acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and capsaicin creams.

When medications are ineffective in treating arthritis, there are surgical procedures being employed to allow persons with the condition to use their joints again. Joint replacement surgery is a helpful method of arthritis pain relief. It involves the removal of the damaged cartilage at the joints, and putting in place of that a stronger but synthetic material. This allows many senior citizens to walk again, after years of suffering knee joint pain. Some surgical procedures also attempt to repair broken cartilage by suturing them together, and allowing the body to heal it naturally.

If you are looking for a long term recovery from pain, then it is better to do physical exercises of the affected joint. There will be chronic pain induced by arthritis, which will impose various restrictions on physical exercises due to the fatigue and stress due to the pain. In these circumstances it is better to consult a qualified therapist to continue the exercises.

Arthritis Care

It is important to manage your life when living with arthritis. You should choose your employment and physical exercises considering the physical restrictions posed by the disease. Protecting your joints can reduce the stress and the pain. Know the various medications prescribed by the doctor and its side effects as you will be using it on a longer time period. It is also important to control your weight as an increase in your weight will considerably increase the stress imposed on the joints on knees, hips and ankles. Arthritis is considered to be an unpredictable disease but staying positive is the key to recovery, so stay positive to fight against a life with arthritis.

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