Arthritis - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Arthritis - Overview
Arthritis has been derived from the Greek word, ‘arthon’ which means joints and ‘itis’ which means inflammation. According to the latest medical gazettes, it has been specified that arthritis is the condition in which a person suffers from a trouble to move around because he feels stiffness in his body and joints. In the majority of cases all over the world, people suffering from arthritis are suffering from swelling and pain in their joints.
Arthritis cannot be considered to be a single disease – it is an amalgamation of more than 100 different medical conditions. Osteoarthritis occurs to be one of the most common forms of arthritis and is known to affect elderly people all over the world. Around 150 million people all over the world are suffering from arthritis.
Causes Of Arthritis
Since arthritis is basically a disease of the joints, there could be many reasons for the occurrence of the disease.
They can be: wearing of the cartilage of the bone, lack of synovial fluid, autoimmunity (attack of the body after it), infection or even a combination of many of these factors.
Some of the best known factors that are known to cause arthritis in people all over the world are as follows:
- Genetic makeup and predisposition.
- Physical workout with repetitive movements.
- Allergic reaction of the body against arthritis. This is also known as reactive arthritis.
- Obesity, causing an extra strain on the joints.
- Autoimmune reaction of the body against oneself.
Different Categories Of Arthritis
All around the world, around 100 types of arthritis are well known. Some of the most occurred typed are as follows:
1. Osteoarthritis: In cases of this kind of arthritis, the cartilage often loses the elasticity and therefore become stiff, causing the damage of the cartilage more easily. The cartilage in the joints works as a shock absorber and therefore, gets wearied off easily in some of the areas. Since the cartilage becomes wearied of, the ligaments and the tendons become more stretched, causing pain in the joints. Also, in the end, the bones may end up rubbing against one another, causing severe pain.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis: In this type of arthritis, the synovial membrane of the joints is attacked and this leads to the swelling and pain in the joints. Also, in case this is left untreated, then this can be the causal factor for deformity. This kind of arthritis is more common amongst women as compared to men and strikes between the ages of 40 to 60.
3. Infectious Arthritis: This is also known as septic arthritis. In this kind of arthritis, the synovial fluids as well as the tissues of the joint suffers from infections. It is generally caused by the bacteria. These bacteria, fungi or virus can be easily spread to the joints by the bloodstream and therefore, can cause the infection of the tissue easily and thus infect the entire joint eventually. People who already have some type of arthritis are more prone to this as compared to their counterparts.
4. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: This kind of arthritis is the one that affects children who are 16 years of age or below.
The three major types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are as follows:
Pauciarticular JRA: This is the most common and mildest form of JRA. In this kind of condition, the child suffers from the joint pain in up to 4 kinds of joints.
Polyarticular JRA: This kind of JRA affects more joints and is more severe as compared to its other counterparts. It tends to get worse with the passage of time.
Systemic JRA: This one is the least common of all JRA. In this, pain is experienced in many joints at the same time. This tends to get spread to different organs and emerges to be one of the most serious kind of JRA.
Symptoms Of Arthritis
The symptoms of Arthritis are the ones that emerge slowly and tend to get worse with the passage of time. Also, it is followed by the pain in one joint, followed by the inactivity of that joint for a long time. There is a tenderness experienced in a joint when it is touched. The patient finds it very hard to use the joint and thus, experience a lot of stiffness in the joint. There is often a grating sensation in the joint, followed by the formation of hard lumps and bone spurs around the joint.
The major symptoms of the major types of arthritis are as follows:
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Painful swollen joints
- Inflammation and stiffness of the joints
- Fingers, arms, wrists and legs are the most affected.
- Stiffness lasting up to 30 minutes upon waking in the morning
- Tenderness of the joints
- Red and puffy hands
- Formation of Rheumatoid Nodules under arms.
2. Infectious Arthritis:
- Constant Fever
- Joint Inflammation and swelling
- Tenderness/ sharp pain in the joints
- Areas affected: Knee, shoulders, elbow, wrists and fingers
- Only one joint is affected at a time.
3. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Intermittent fever amongst kids.
- Peaking of fever in the evening followed by sudden disappearance.
- Poor appetite and loss in weight.
- Blotchy rashes all over arms and legs.
- Limping or having a sore wrist, finger and knee.
- Swelling of the joints.
- Stiffness of the neck, hips or some other joint
Medications For Arthritis
A lot of drugs and medications are in the market for the treatment of arthritis.
Some of the best known medications amongst them are as follows:
NSAIDs: Known as Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, these are the best known and most prescribed drugs for the treatment of arthritis. When given in low doses, they can help treat muscle aches, headaches, fever as well as minor pain in people suffering from arthritis. However, given in larger doses, they can reduce the inflammation of the joints.
Salicylates: Salicylates often include aspirin and they continue to be one of the best chosen options for patients suffering from arthritis all over the world. For the most effective control of arthritis as well as removal of pain and inflammation, a large dose of aspirin is recommended. Nonacetylated salicylate is best known to have lower side effects in patients.
Glucocorticoids: They are the anti inflammatory steroids, which are best known and most effective in combating the inflammation as well as pain. They are often prescribed by doctors to patients to lower the risk of side effects.
Balanced Diet and Exercise: It is very vital for people suffering from arthritis to maintain their diet schedule. With a healthy diet, they will be able to maintain a healthy body weight as well as the required amount of nutrients within their body. Losing a couple of pounds will ease up the pressure exerted by their body on the joints. Doctors as well as nutritionists, advise the people suffering from arthritis to abstain from eating fat rich foods such as cream, meats and cheese. Instead, eating of fresh foods as well as grains is encouraged.
Omega 3 rich foods which contain the essential fatty acids are the ones that have been shown beneficial in the removal of rheumatoid arthritis in people. Fish is considered to be one of the best sources of Omega 3 fats. Sardines, Trout, Salmon and Herring are the best sources of Omega 3 Acids.
It is important for people suffering from Arthritis to reduce the portions of food that they consume in order to lose weight easily. Also, adding fruits and vegetables is very important in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.