ARTHRITIS

 

Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones.

Causes

Possible causes may include:

  • injury, leading to degenerative arthritis

  • abnormal metabolism, leading to gout and pseudogout

  • the direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral)

  • and a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity (such as in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

 

Symptoms

Pain, which can vary in severity, is a common symptom in virtually all types of arthritis. Other symptoms include:

  • swelling,

  • joint redness,

  • joint warmth,

  • limping,

  • locking of the joint

  • joint stiffness and

  • aching around the joint(s).

 

Risk factors

  • Age: the risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.

  • Sex: most types of arthritis are more common in females, and 60 percent of all people with arthritis are female. Gout is more common in males than females.

  • Genetic factors: specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and ankylosing spondylitis.

  • Overweight and obesity: excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Prevention

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Do not smoke

  • Eat a healthy diet, low in sugar, alcohol and purines

 

Treatment

The treatment of arthritis is very dependent on the precise type of arthritis present. An accurate diagnosis increases the chances for successful treatment. Though, treatment aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain quality of life. Treatments available include physical therapy, home remedies, splinting, cold-pack application, paraffin wax dips, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, immune-altering medications, biologic medications, surgical operations and patient education and support.

 

 

Culled from Staywellworld blog post dated January 25, 2018.

To learn more, click on 

https://www.staywellworld.org/post/2018/01/25/understanding-what-arthritis-is

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The contents herein are for informational purposes only, therefore, should not be used as an alternative to seeking independent medical advice, and we cannot take responsibility for an individual’s decision to use them as such. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.