Diagnosed with Arthritis? Here are its causes, symptoms, & treatment

Arthritis

Most of us don’t pay attention to our joints until they become painful or discomforting. And by the time we spare a few hours to get them examined, many of us would have developed serious health problems. Arthritis is one of them. It is a medical condition characterized by swelling, tenderness, and stiffness in joints that worsen with age. Once considered the problem of the elderly, even younger men and women nowadays are diagnosed with arthritis. Through this blog post, we’re bringing you some interesting information related to arthritis, its types, causes, symptoms, and management. Let’s start!

Arthritis and its types:

Arthritis is a medical problem that usually involves inflammation and degeneration of joints, leading to a great deal of pain, discomfort, and limited functionality of joints. Arthritis is most common in the following areas of the body-

  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Hands

There are over 100 types of arthritis with different causes and treatment methods. Some most common ones are-

Osteoarthritis- It is the most common type of arthritis that generally affects men and women over the age of 50. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the end of the bones gets damaged or degenerated over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects joints in your hands, spine, hips, and knees. Also, it tends to be more prevalent in people who are overweight.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)- It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects more than your joints. Indeed, rheumatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which your body mistakenly attacks its own muscle and tissues, thus damaging several parts like skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and many others. Unlike other forms, Rheumatoid Arthritis commonly affects young individuals below 40 years of age. 

Gout- It is the most common yet complex type of arthritis that can affect anyone. It is characterized by episodes of severe pain, itchiness, swelling, redness, and tenderness in one or more joints, most often in the big toe. 

Apart from these, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis, and Psoriatic Arthritis are some kinds that affect millions of people around the globe every year. 

What are the common symptoms of Arthritis?

Numbness, joint pain, swelling, and redness are a few common symptoms of arthritis. Also, the symptoms may be more intense when you wake up in the morning or after you’ve been resting. Some other symptoms of osteoarthritis may include-

  • limited range of motion that sometimes goes away after movement
  • clicking or popping with bending
  • muscle weakness around the joint
  • instability or buckling of the joint
  • bony growths in the fingers
  • grating or scraping feeling in the knees

Other symptoms of Rheumatic Arthritis include-

  • morning stiffness that can last 30 minutes or more
  • more than one affected joint
  • onset in smaller joints like feet and hands
  • same joints on both sides of the body are affected
  • fatigue
  • low-grade fever
  • inflammation of the eyes and mouth
  • inflammation of the heart muscle and blood vessels
  • low red blood cell count

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis may occur due to various causes such as-

  • wear and tear of a joint from overuse
  • age (OA is most common in adults over the age of 50)
  • injuries
  • obesity
  • autoimmune disorders
  • genes or family history
  • muscle weakness

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Seeking your family doctor is the best step if you’re unsure of who to see for an arthritis diagnosis. You may be advised to undergo physical examination to check for fluids, inflammation or redness around joints. Besides, your doctor may suggest you an orthopedic specialist if needed. In case, you’re experiencing severe symptoms that worsen with time, you may choose to schedule an appointment with rheumatologist first. 

Documenting inflammation levels and analyzing joint fluids can help your doctor diagnose which type of arthritis you have. Doctors usually use imaging scans such as X-rays, CT scan, MRI to produce an image of bones and cartilage. This helps them to identify the cause of arthritis in an individuals. Besides, blood tests that specifically check for ypes of antibodies like anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), Rheumatic Arthritis factor (RA factor)  and antinuclear antibodies are also common diagnostic tests.

What are the common treatments for arthritis?

The main goal of the  is to provide symptomatic relief and alleviate pain and discomfort for an improved quality of life. Generally, the treatment for arthritis involves a combination of-

  • medications and supplements
  • occupational therapy
  • surgery
  • nutrient-rich diet
  • regular workouts
  • weight management
  • heat and cold compress
  • mobility assistance devices such as cane or walkers

Improving your joint function is another prime area of focus and your physician may design a personalized treatment module by combining multiple treatment options for you. 

What lifestyle changes can I make to reduce my risk of suffering arthritis?

Maintaining optimal body weight or body mass index (BMI) is often the best to reduce your risk of getting arthritis. Besides, including nutrient-rich foods such as leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and nuts in your diet can help reduce inflammation in the body, thus lowering your risk of developing arthritis. Foods that should be limited or avoided if you have arthritis include:

  • fried foods
  • processed foods
  • dairy products
  • a high intake of meat

Where can I get the best treatment for arthritis in Lucknow?

Most renowned & multi-speciality hospitals in Lucknow have a team of specialized orthopaedics and surgeons. Dr. Sandeep Gupta, Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital, Lucknow is highly popular amongst people for his superior knowledge, professional excellence, and caring attitude towards his patients. Click here to know more.

The takeaway-

While there is no cure for arthritis, getting the right kind of treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and help relieve pain & discomfort. In addition to the treatment recommended by your physician, making healthy lifestyle changes may help you manage arthritis for better life quality.

Presently Senior Consultant Orthopedics & Joint Replacement, Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital, Lucknow

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