The term Arthritis is used to refer to or mean a joint pain or disorder. There are more than 100 types of Arthritis. People from any and every section of age, sex and race are known to suffer from Arthritis. It is a leading cause of disability in many countries in the world. Cases of Arthritis are more commonly found in people as they grow older. Incidence of Arthritis is more in case of women.
Symptoms: Common symptoms of Arthritis are acute pain in the joints with stiffness. Other symptoms include redness, swelling and decreased range of movement of the affected joints. In certain types of Arthritis, other organs may also be affected. Onset of Arthritis can be sudden or gradual.
We talk about the three most common types of Arthritis below.
Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of Arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease which usually occurs when one grows old. It mainly affects the fingers, hands, wrists, feet, back, hips and knees. Osteoarthritis is the result of the daily wear and tear of the joint. It can also occur due to some injury to a joint. It typically affects the weight bearing joints in the body, namely, back, hip and knee. Risk factors for osteoarthritis are obesity, prior joint trauma and a sedentary lifestyle.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder which often affects the fingers, hands, wrists, knees, elbows and feet. In case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body’s own immune system starts attacking the body tissues not only in the joints but also in other parts of the body as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis mostly occurs in people over 20 years of age and appears on both sides of the body. A central feature of Rheumatoid Arthritis is bone erosion. Internal inflammation leads to bone erosion in the joints. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can help in arresting the damage.
Gout: This is a type of rheumatic disease caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint, thereby causing inflammation of the joint. In case of Gout, joints often get swollen and slow down or stop functioning.
Treatment of Arthritis: For Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is no known cure. Treatment options depend on the type and extent of Arthritis. They include physical therapy, weight control, exercises, orthopedic bracing and medications. Medication reduces swelling, decreases pain and slows down the damage rate. Giving rest to the affected joint has also been found to be useful.
This information is provided courtesy of STL Health