What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that affect one joint or multiple joints. There are different types of arthritis that are due to different causes and require different treatment methods. There are two common types of arthritis that are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Usually, the symptoms of arthritis develop over time and sometimes appear all of a sudden. It is commonly seen in adults who are above the age of 65, but it also develops in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women as compared to that of men and especially in people who are overweight.
What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
There are some very common symptoms of arthritis like having Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling in the legs and hands. You will experience redness of the skin around the joints. Most of the people have noticed that their symptoms get worse in the morning.
In the case of RA i.e Rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience a loss of appetite. You will feel like a fever and will need to boost the immune system. You might also become anemic which means that your red blood cell count decreases. Severe RA will cause joint deformity if don’t treat it properly.
What Causes Arthritis?
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that is present in your joints. It is responsible for protecting the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock which gets created when you move and put stress on them. When the normal amount of this cartilage tissue gets reduces it causes arthritis. Normal wear and tear might cause Osteoarthritis i.e. OA, is one of the most common forms of arthritis. An infection or injury can exacerbate the breakdown of cartilage tissue. You can develop a high risk of OA if you have a family history of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another kind of arthritis and is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when the immune system of our body attacks the tissues in the body. Due to such attacks the synovium, soft tissue in your joints get affected which produces a fluid to nourish cartilage and lubricate the joints. This might lead to the destruction of both the bone and cartilage inside the joint.
How to Diagnose Arthritis?
At first, the doctor will perform a physical exam to check the fluid around the joints. He will check the limited range of motion in the joints. If you experience severe pain and other symptoms like fever then you can schedule an appointment with the Rheumatologist to get a faster diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will analyze the inflammation levels in your blood to determine what kind of arthritis you have.
Blood tests check for types of antibodies like RF (rheumatoid factor), ANA (antinuclear antibody), and anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), which are some of the common diagnostic tests. You will have to go through imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scans to produce an image of your bones and cartilage to get better insight details.
How to Treat Arthritis?
There are peoples who find heating pads and ice packs to be soothing. While others prefer mobility assistance devices like walkers that will take away the pressure off sore joints. You can also counsel with the right professional if you are experiencing an excess of pain in your joints. Learn the best ways to control the pain by doing the right exercise and yoga.
Medication for Arthritis
There are numerous medications available for the treatment of arthritis such as analgesics, menthol or capsaicin, Immunosuppressants, etc. You can take these medicines by consulting with your doctor to get the appropriate dosage of medicines. In case you are diagnosed with RA then your doctor may suggest you take corticosteroids that suppress the immune system.