What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It can occur anywhere in the body and, based on that, there are several types of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is the common ailment of pain in the joints observed in elderly people. Other common types of arthritic ailments are rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
The word arthritis is derived from two root Greek words – arthros meaning 'joint' and it is meaning 'inflammation'. Hence, arthritis literally translates as inflammation of the joints.
Arthritis is an auto-immune disease, which means, it is a disease in which the human body attacks itself. It begins in one or two joints where an acute pain is felt. This is the most miserable phase of arthritis. Over time, this pain may disappear, but it could cause permanent deformities in the bones and joints.
Ache and inflexibility in the joints, anemia, colitis
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are ache and firmness in the joints. The pain frequently increases after work out. Rheumatoid arthritis is often called the 'cooked food ailment'. lt regularly develops gradually over several months, with persistent pain and stiffness in one or additional joints. Finally the whole body is affected. Symptoms contain anemia, colitis, constipation, deformed hands and feet.
Root of Arthritis
Structural changes in articular cartilage in the joint
Osteoarthritis results from structural changes in the articular cartilage in the joints, frequently those which are weight-bearing, such as the spine and knees.
Hormonal disparity, physical and emotional strain
Rheumatoid arthritis is due to an soreness of the synovium or lining of the joints. This is accompanied by puffiness and eventually leads to irregularity. The situation may be caused by hormonal disparity, physical and emotional stress, infection, cruel fright, shock, and injury.
Family factors may also be responsible for the onset of this disease
Three Most Common Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis – the most common type of arthritis. This degenerative joint disease affects over 16 million Americans. This form of arthritis is caused when the cartilage surrounding the ends of the bones begins to degenerate and the joints are no longer cushioned. This caused the joints to rub together and in severe cases, you can hear the bones grating against one another. At the onset of osteoarthritis, the symptoms are usually mild and consist of pain and stiffness of the joints. As the disease progresses, inflammation and loss of motion can occur. In some severe cases, deformity can occur if the grinding joints wear one side of the joint more than the other.
Rheumatoid arthritis – This is the second most common type of arthritis and the most severe. Symptoms usually begin appearing between the ages of 25 and 50 – however, children and senior citizens can experience the onset of this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease because factors other than wear and tear of cartilage can cause the disease and the disease can affect other organs, such as the eyes, lungs, and heart.
Fibromyalgia – This is a type of arthritis that does not directly affect the joints. Rather, the inflammation and pain affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues under the skin. Many patients have tender spots under the skin that are painful when any type of pressure is applied. The symptoms for Fibromyalgia include deep muscle pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, and depression. Symptoms may come and go, but the disease is long term and chronic.
Arthritis Treatment and Prevention Tips
1.Treatment options is depending on the type of arthritis and include physical and occupational therapy, and medications (symptomatic or targeted at the disease process causing the arthritis).
2.Arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery) may be required in eroding forms of arthritis.
3.In conventional treatment, painkillers, such as paracetamol, are essential. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help with episodes of more severe pain.
4.In recent years a new type of NSAID treatment, called Cox-2 inhibitors, has been launched. These were initially claimed to be less harmful to the stomach and many patients have found that they provided good pain relief for their arthritis.
5.Physiotherapy relieves pain and strengthens muscles around the damaged joint, helping the joint to work better.
6.Regular exercise is beneficial for the same reasons and, once pain is under control, easy to do.
7.Hip and knee replacements are common and usually involve a short hospital visit.
8.Disease-modifying drugs that slow disease progression are available for people with rheumatoid arthritis.