Arthritis – Disorder of Joints

Types of Arthritis

It can be degenerative, inflammatory, infectious or metabolic.

Osteoarthritis

The most common type is the osteoarthritis. It can affect any joint, either small or big in the body. The common cause of osteoarthritis is wearing of the soft bone called cartilage. The cartilage is usually present at the end of the bones

If the cartilage wears out, then the bones rub against each other. As a result, swelling, pain and stiffness is seen in that particular region. The symptoms may be mild at first but may lead to chronic pain over time due to loss of strength in the joints.

Risk factors that can cause osteoarthritis are family history, excess weight, any previous injury and age. When the symptoms are mild and moderate, they can be managed by the following.

Regular physical activity

Maintaining a healthy weight

Taking OTC pain relievers

If the osteoarthritis symptoms become severe, then consult a specialist and get the joint replacement done if required. One can prevent osteoarthritis by staying active, maintaining healthy weight and avoiding injuries.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a kind of inflammatory arthritis. In this case, the body’s own immune system attacks the body tissues. Immune system generally produces inflammation to protect the body from infections. In case of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints thus causing its erosion. Even other parts of the body like the eyes and internal organs can get affected due to this disorder.

Early diagnosis and immediate treatment isĀ  necessary to prevent any joint damage. There is no cure for this disease. The goal of the treatment is to prevent further damage, improve movement of joints and reduce pain. Drugs like corticosteroids or monoclonal antibodies are given. Surgery might be done in rare cases where in joint replacement is done.

Gout

Our body produces uric acid to breakdown the purines. The purines are found in human cells as well as in the food we eat. The body sometimes may produce high levels of uric acid or it cannot get rid of it quickly. In either of the cases, they get deposited as crystals in the joints . This results in extreme joint pain and is referred to as gout. If treatment is not taken to regulate the uric acid levels, then the condition may become chronic and may lead to disability.

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