What is Arthritis? Its Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

Home » What is Arthritis? Causes, Types, and Treatments
Garry Stewart
Written By Ken Maus

November 21, 2022

What is Arthritis? Causes, Types, and Treatments

Arthritis is the tenderness and swelling of one or more joints. The primary symptoms of the disease are joint stiffness and joint pain that generally worsens with age.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The most common symptoms associated with the disease include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased motion range
  • Redness
Arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joint. It generally affects one or multiple joints and eventually may lead to permanent joint modifications.

Causes of Arthritis

The two primary types of arthritis include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

That damages the person’s joints in various ways.

1. Rheumatoid Arthritis

During Rheumatoid Arthritis, the person’s immune system attacks the joint capsule’s linings, a tough membrane enclosing all the joint parts. This lining usually becomes swollen and inflamed, and later the disease progression eventually destroys the bone and cartilage within the joint.

2. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis involving wear and tear damage to the joint’s cartilage.

The cartilage cushions the bone ends and enables nearly frictionless joint motion. But it can damage it enough resulting in grinding directly on the bone leading to pains and limited movement.

This type also leads to bone modifications and connective tissue deterioration, which attaches the muscles to the bones.

Risk factors involved!

The risk factors leading to the disease include:

  • Family history
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Previous joint injury
  • Obesity

Complications involved!

Severe arthritis affects the arms and hands, making it complicated for the person even to perform the daily tasks. The disease of weight-bearing joints can also keep the person from sitting up straight and walking comfortably.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

During the physical examination of the affected person, the medical doctors may check the joints for redness, swelling, and warmth.

However, the diagnosis may also include the following:

  • Laboratory tests
  • Imaging tests like CT scans, X-rays, MRI, and ultrasound

Treatment of Arthritis

The treatment of arthritis is primarily focused on relieving symptoms and enhancing joint functioning.

However, the treatment may involve combinational therapies to determine what works best for a specific patient.

Medications for Arthritis

The medications suggested for the treatment of arthritis depend upon the type of arthritis a patient is suffering from. The common types of medicines involved in the patient’s treatment include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Counter irritants
  • Steroids
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Therapy for Arthritis

Several physical therapies help treat several types of arthritis. However, the exercises can enhance the motion range while strengthening the joints’ muscles. The doctor may suggest physical therapies to treat a person with arthritis.

Surgery for Arthritis

If the traditional treatment measures do not help, the doctors may also suggest some surgeries like

  • Joint repairing
  • Joint replacement
  • Joint fusion

Lifestyle changes and home remedies

Several lifestyle changes and home remedies may also help deal with the health condition. This may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Heat and cold packs
  • Exercising regularly

Bottom Line!

The treatment of arthritis entirely focuses on the relief of the symptoms, and based on the symptoms or type of arthritis; the doctors suggest various treatments or medications.
Make sure to follow it all to get complete relief from the disease.

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