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Arthritis (joint inflammation) : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage ? the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint ? to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.

Uric acid crystals, which form when there's too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Arthritis is also known as joint inflammation. Ankylosing spondylitis, Gout, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Reactive arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Septic arthritis and Thumb arthritis. are some common types of Arthritis. Generally Male, Female, Child are the victim of the Arthritis. Seriousness of this disease is Low.

Symptoms of Arthritis are :

  • Redness around Joint
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint Stiffnes
  • Swelling
  • Finger pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Neck pain
  • Bone pain and Back pain
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden, noticeable weight loss can happen after a stressful event, although it can also be a sign of a serious illness.

    It's normal to lose a noticeable amount of weight after the stress of changing jobs, divorce, redundancy or bereavement.

    Weight often returns to normal when you start to feel happier, after you've had time to grieve or get used to the change. Counselling and support may be needed to help you get to this stage.

    Significant weight loss can also be the result of an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. If you think you have an eating disorder, talk to someone you trust and consider speaking to your GP. There are also several organisations that can provide you with information and advice, such as the eating disorders charity Beat.

    If your weight loss wasn't due to one of the causes mentioned, and you didn't lose weight through dieting or exercising, see your GP, as you may have an illness that needs treating.

  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Weakness

    Weakness is when strength is decreased and extra effort is needed to move a certain part of the body or the entire body. Weakness is due to loss of muscle strength. Weakness can be a big part of why cancer patients feel fatigue.

    Fatigue

    Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep. It can have many causes, including working too much, having disturbed sleep, stress and worry, not having enough physical activity, and going through an illness and its treatment.

  • Severe joint andmuscle pain
  • Joints are the parts of your body where your bones meet. Joints allow the bones of your skeleton to move. Joints include:

    • shoulders
    • hips
    • elbows
    • knees

    Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body?s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. It doesn?t typically require a hospital visit.

    Sometimes, joint pain is the result of an illness or injury. Arthritis is also a common cause of joint pain. However, it can also be due to other conditions or factors.

  • Medium Fever
  • A fever is a higher-than-normal body temperature. It?s a sign of your body's natural fight against infection.

    • For adults, a fever is when your temperature is higher than 100.4F.
    • For kids, a fever is when their temperature is higher than 100.4F (measured rectally); 99.5F (measured orally); or 99F (measured under the arm).

    The average normal body temperature is 98.6 Fahrenheit (or 37 Celsius). When you or your child?s temperature rises a few degrees above normal, it?s a sign that the body is healthy and fighting infection. In most cases, that?s a good thing.

    But when a fever rises above 102F it should be treated at home and, if necessary, by your healthcare provider if the fever doesn?t go down after a few days.

    Causes

    Arthritis can be caused due to:

    There is no single cause of all types of arthritis. The cause or causes vary according to the type or form of arthritis.

    Possible causes may include:

    • injury, leading to degenerative arthritis
    • abnormal metabolism, leading to gout and pseudogout
    • inheritance, such as in osteoarthritis
    • infections, such as in the arthritis of Lyme disease
    • immune system dysfunction, such as in RA and SLE

    Most types of arthritis are linked to a combination of factors, but some have no obvious cause and appear to be unpredictable in their emergence.

    Some people may be genetically more likely to develop certain arthritic conditions. Additional factors, such as previous injury, infection, smoking and physically demanding occupations, can interact with genes to further increase the risk of arthritis.

    Diet and nutrition can play a role in managing arthritis and the risk of arthritis, although specific foods, food sensitivities or intolerances are not known to cause arthritis.

    Foods that increase inflammation, particularly animal-derived foods and diets high in refined sugar, can make symptoms worse, as can eating foods that provoke an immune system response.

    What kind of precaution should be taken in Arthritis?

    Eat fish:

    Certain fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3s have a number of health benefits, and they can reduce inflammation in the body.

    Control your weight:

    Your knees have to support your body weight. Being overweight or obese can take a real toll on them. If you?re just 10 pounds overweight, the force on your knee as you take each step increases by 30 to 60 pounds, according to Johns Hopkins.

    Exercise:

    Exercise not only takes the stress of excess weight off your joints, but also strengthens the muscles around the joints. This stabilizes them and can protect them from added wear and tear.

    Avoid injury:

    To avoid injury, always use the proper safety equipment while playing sports, and learn the correct exercise techniques.

    Protect your joints:

    Using the right techniques when sitting, working, and lifting can help protect joints from everyday strains. For example, lift with your knees and hips ? not your back ? when picking up objects.

    How it can be spread?

    Arthritis may spread the disease to other joints by traveling through blood vessels.

    Treatment for the Arthritis

    Medications:

    • Painkillers. These medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation. An over-the-counter option includes acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve). Some types of NSAIDs are available only by prescription.
    • Counterirritants. Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo, others) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
    • Biologic response modifiers. Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response.
    • Corticosteroids. This class of drugs, which includes prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) and cortisone (Cortef), reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or can be injected directly into the painful joint.

    Therapy:

    Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.

    Surgery:

    If conservative measures don't help, your doctor may suggest surgery, such as:

    • Joint repair. In some instances, joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function. These types of procedures can often be performed arthroscopically ? through small incisions over the joint.
    • Joint replacement. This procedure removes your damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Joints most commonly replaced are hips and knees.
    • Joint fusion. This procedure is more often used for smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle and fingers. It removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit.

    Possible complication with Arthritis

    Arthritis can almost cripple day-to-day life. Unless treated effectively, any form of this disease has a long-term effect.

    The most common complications that you may face as a result of this disease are:

    • joint stiffness, causing you pain and restricting your bodily movements

    • inflammation (if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis) in different parts of your body, including lungs, heart, eyes, and blood vessels

    • heart diseases that can occur from any form of inflammatory arthritis

    • bleeding inside the joints

    • inflammation, swelling of and pain in joints

    • rupture of ligaments around the joint

    • carpel tunnel syndrome could affect you if you have rheumatoid arthritis

    • inflammation in different parts of the body such as eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation of blood vessels can also cause cardiovascular diseases.

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