Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Publish Date: April 17th, 2021; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.
Arthritis is a medical condition that refers to joint inflammation. This health condition can affect one or multiple joints. But do you know that there are more than 100 different types of Arthritis? And each type has other causes and treatment methods? Yes, you might not have any idea about it, but it is true.
However, the two most common Arthritis types are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). The symptoms of the health condition usually develop over time but sometimes may appear suddenly. Arthritis is commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 65 and can also develop in teens, children, and younger adults. It is more commonly diagnosed in women than men and probably in people who are overweight.
Being a common disease, it shows up a few symptoms indicating the person probably has the health condition. Let us take a look at the symptoms of Arthritis.
Several symptoms may indicate the person has a health condition. The symptoms include:
- Joint Pain
- The range of motion may decrease
- A patient may experience redness of the skin around the joint
These are the common symptoms of the health condition. However, many patients experience the worsening of symptoms in the morning.
In the Case of RA
A patient may feel tired all the time, experience loss of appetite due to inflammation, may become anemic, or have a slight fever. Severe RA can also lead to joint deformity if the condition is left untreated.
Causes of Arthritis!
Cartilage is a flexible and firm connective tissue in the joints that protects the joints by absorbing the shock and pressure generated when moving or putting stress on them. Arthritis is led by the reduction in the average amount of cartilage tissue. As we have studied earlier, there are two common forms of Arthritis; both forms have different causes that lead to health issues. Let us take a look at it:
Normal wear and tear cause OA. OA is one of the most common forms of Arthritis and is an infection, or we can say injury to the joints. It can exacerbate the natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. And a patient with a family history of the disease has a higher chance of developing OA.
RA is another common form of Arthritis which is an autoimmune disorder. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks the body’s tissues. And these attacks then affect the synovium, which is a soft tissue in the joints responsible for producing the fluid which lubricates the joints and nourishes the cartilage. RA may invade and destroy the joint and eventually lead to bone destruction and cartilage inside the joint.
How is it diagnosed?
Visiting the medical professional can be a good step if you are unsure to check for an arthritis diagnosis. The physician will perform a physical exam to check the fluids around joints, red or warm joints, and the limited motion range in joints. They may refer to the specialist if required.
Analyzing and extracting the inflammation levels in the blood and joint fluids can help determine the type of Arthritis a patient is suffering from. Blood tests can verify the specific antibodies’ type like Rheumatoid Factor (RF), Antinuclear Antibody (ANA), and Anti Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (anti-CCP) is the standard diagnostic test.
Physicians or medical doctors commonly use imaging scans, including MRI, CT Scans, and X-rays, to produce an image of cartilage and bones. They prefer performing this so they can rule out the causes of symptoms like bone spurs.
How can it be treated?
What works best for you in controlling the pain may be different from other patients with the same health condition. But improving joint functioning is essential. Your physician or medical doctor may prescribe a combination of treatment methods to attain the best results.
The doctors recommend several medications to treat Arthritis. This includes:
- Analgesics: Analgesics includes acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) is an effective medication for pain management but does not help diminish inflammation.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs include salicylates and ibuprofen (Advil) to control pain and inflammation. However, Salicylates can thin the blood, so they must be consumed cautiously.
- Menthol or Capsaicin Creams: are responsible for locking the pain signals from the joints.
- Immunosuppressants: Immunosuppressants, including cortisone or prednisone, help in reducing inflammation.
However, it is highly recommended to take the medications as per the prescribed dosage from a medical doctor.
The other treatments for this health condition include:
- Surgery: Surgeries take place to replace the joint with an artificial one. In case the Arthritis is severe in the wrists or fingers, the doctor may perform a joint fusion.
- Physical therapies: Physical therapies can also be a helpful treatment that involves exercises that strengthen the muscles around the affected joint.
What is the long-term outlook for patients with Arthritis?
Though there is no cure for Arthritis, the correct treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms. You may also get recommended to make some necessary changes in your lifestyle. As there is no assurance in getting treated with the medications or such complex treatments, people usually search for an escape in the natural remedies for treating the health condition.
You must be wondering if it is possible that a natural remedy can help you diminish the symptoms. But to your surprise, you can lessen the symptoms with the help of natural remedies. Are you excited to know about the natural treatment to reduce the complexity of the symptoms? Don’t forget to read the next part of the blog, where we will reveal about the natural remedy and everything concerning it.
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