5 Types Of Arthritis And Their Symptoms
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Arthritis is a disorder of the joints which in most of the cases leads to inflammation and swelling. It includes more than 100 conditions that affect joints but Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the most commonly heard arthritis conditions. Arthritis occurs in the middle aged to elderly age group but it can also occur in children. This article will help you to understand what happens in arthritis, types of arthritis symptoms and how to tackle them, and how to prevent Arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Any joint has two or more bones which are placed close to each other. The bony ends are covered by a cartilage which is an elastic structure. These cushion-like structures absorb compression on the joint functioning like shock absorbers and prevent crushing of the bone ends. The empty space is filled with a fluid called synovial fluid which lubricates the movable joints. Along with the fluid we have other structures which help in cushioning such as the fat pockets, meniscus and bursae.
Any damage to the bony ends or any change in the constituency of the fluid inside the joint can lead to arthritis. Arthritis can be caused by multiple factors like wear and tear of the joint, infection in the joint and injury. There are many types of arthritis but few common ones are:
Commonly called knee arthritis, Osteoarthritis mainly occurs in elderly people. Most of the individuals think it’s something that affects the knee joint but it can occur in any joint including one in the hands.
Arthritis symptoms in hands include:
– Swelling in the finger joints
– Stiffness and pain during finger movements leading to weak grip
Arthritis symptoms in knee include:
– Pain while walking and folding the legs, swelling of the joints
An autoimmune disorder where the body develops antibodies against the synovium (lining of the joint that produces synovial fluid). This leads to reduction in the synovial fluid and loss of lubrication eventually leading to destruction of the cartilage and the bone ends. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can include morning stiffness in joints, painful and swollen joints especially in the hands and deformation of the fingers along with nodules formation
(3) Gouty arthritis
The high uric acid in blood can lead to hard uric acid crystal formation and damage the bone surfaces leading to arthritis
(4) Psoriatic arthritis
Although Psoriasis is a skin condition, it leads to arthritis. Antibodies are developed against skin appendages and additionally they are also developed against joint structures leading to arthritis.
(5) Juvenile arthritis
Arthritis that can occur in age groups less than 16 years. This is an autoimmune disease which damages the internal surface of the joints and leads to arthritis
Common Arthritis Symptoms
Symptoms of arthritis can include:
– Pain in the joint
– Swelling in the joints
– Redness in the joints
– Difficulty in walking or climbing stairs or bending, weak hand grips
– Osteoarthritis symptoms can lead to decreased flexibility of the limb.
– Besides these, signs of arthritis include crepitus or click sound during joint movement.
Few arthritis conditions involve other organs like lungs and kidneys like Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus arthritis. If arthritis is suspected, X-rays and certain blood investigations to see for the presence of antibodies or inflammatory markers like RF are done.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In most cases, it includes medication and lifestyle changes. Medications like pain killers, or supplements to help in formation of synovial fluid or disease modifying agents, or steroids to reduce inflammation are given. Replacement surgeries are done in conditions like osteoarthritis of knee.
– Weight reduction: reducing weight helps in reducing the stress on joints and eventually prevents arthritis.
– Posture: correct posture while standing and sitting also helps in preventing arthritis.
– Avoid the cross legged position: it increases the friction and leads to damage of the joints.
– Avoid standing with a bend: it will lead to unequal distribution of weight on legs.
– Take antioxidants: they help in reducing the inflammation to a certain extent
– Healthy diet: include foods with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
– Exercise: they help in improving stability and flexibility of the joints but this is to be under supervision. Aged individuals can switch to low impact exercises like swimming and walking. Strengthening exercise for the muscles around the joints can also be included in the exercise routine.
– Protect yourself from joint injuries” Arthritis can be caused or worsened by joint injuries. Sprains, dislocation injuries are to be avoided and without a medical expert’s opinion it is not advised to continue exercising when one has pain or swelling in the joint.
Noticing arthritis symptoms or signs a is important, because if not treated it can lead to complications like permanent disability where one finds it difficult to walk or simply sit. Early detection of conditions can help to prevent worsening of the problem. Talk to a Orthopedician if you feel you have arthritis symptoms or you had an injury so that you can understand how to treat it well.
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