Arthritis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Medications, And Treatment
Arthritis is a common problem in today's households. It is a hypernym for hundreds of different conditions that mostly involve inflammation in the joints. This condition can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are 100 different arthritis types, with different causes and methods of treatment. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA) are two of the most common types of arthritis.
People develop arthritis symptoms over time, but they may appear out of nowhere at times. This condition is more commonly seen in people over the age of 65, however, can occur in children, teenagers, and younger adults. It is more common in women than men and people with obesity.
Types of Arthritis :
There are over 100 identified types of arthritis, ranging from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (e.g., Osteoarthritis) to those related to inflammation from a misdirected immune system (e.g., RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis are some of the most common types of arthritis, although there are several other types. These include:
1. Psoriatic Arthritis
2. Reactive Arthritis
3. Ankylosing Spondylitis
These are the types of inflammatory arthritis while septic arthritis and Lyme arthritis are types of infectious arthritis. Together, they constitute the most common chronic illnesses in the United States.
Symptoms Of Arthritis :
The symptoms of arthritis include pain and inflammation of joints and their limited functioning. Joint inflammation includes pain, joint stiffness, warmth, swelling, and redness.
- Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can result in difficulties in movement from poor joint function and pain from arthritis.
- Joint stiffness can result in poor joint functioning.
- Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present with or without pain.
- Arthritis of small joints in fingers can result in bone growth and loss of handgrip because of stiffness.
- When arthritis affects large joints such as the knee, there can be cartilage loss with limitation of knee movement from the joint damage.
Since they are rheumatic diseases, many types of arthritis affect various body organs that do not involve joints. Hence, such symptoms may include:
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Feeling Unwell
- Loss of Weight
- Symptoms form abnormalities of organs such as kidneys, lungs, or heart.
Causes Of Arthritis :
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found in the joints that protects it by absorbing the shock and pressure created upon stress or movement. If the human body lacks a normal amount of this cartilage, it may result in arthritis. Normal wear and tear of cartilage cause OA and an injury to the joints can worsen this condition. A person is at a high risk of developing arthritis if he/she has a family history of the condition.
RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the synovium, which is a soft tissue present in your joints. This tissue is responsible for producing a fluid that supports the cartilage and lubricates the joints. This type of arthritis invades and destroys a person’s joints. If the condition exacerbates, it may destroy both bone and cartilage.
The exact cause of these attacks is not certain. However, researchers have found genetic markers that increase your risk of developing this condition.
How To Diagnosis Arthritis :
Seeing your doctor is the initial step if you’re not sure who to see for the proper diagnosis of arthritis. They will ask you to undergo a physical examination to determine warm or red joints, fluid around the joints, and low movement in the joints. Based on the results of your examination, your doctor may recommend a specialist.
In case you’re experiencing a lot of pain around the joints, you can directly schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist first. This may lead to faster diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may extract and analyze inflammation levels in your blood to determine the type of arthritis you have. Moreover, he can perform blood tests to identify specific types of antibodies, including ANA (antinuclear antibody), anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), and RF (rheumatic factor). Doctors may ask you to undergo CT scans, X-rays, and MRI to produce an image of your bones and cartilage.
The main objective of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing and preventing additional damage to the joints. Your doctor may prescribe you a combination of medicines to improve your joint function. Heating pads may also help relieve arthritis pain. Your doctor may ask you to use mobility assistance devices, including walkers or canes, to help take the pressure off sore joints.
Medications For Arthritis :
Different medications are used in the treatment of arthritis, including:
- Analgesics: Analgesics, including hydrocodone (Vicodin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), are used to help relieve pain. However, it doesn’t help decrease inflammation.
- Immunosuppressants: Immunosuppressants such as prednisone or cortisone are taken to reduce inflammation.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates are some of the commonly used NSAIDs that help control pain and inflammation. Salicylates can thin the blood, hence should be used with precaution, along with other blood-thinning medications.
- Menthol/ Capsaicin Creams: These are used to block the transmission of pain signals from joints.
In case you have RA, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to suppress your immune system. Capsaicin creams are used to help relieve pain from arthritis.
Doctors may ask you to undergo surgery that involves replacing your joint with an artificial one. Surgeries are a common treatment form to replace hips and knees.
If your arthritis is most severe in your fingers or wrists, your doctor may ask you to undergo a joint fusion. Here, the ends of your bones are locked together until they heal and become one.
Lifestyle Changes Need To Be Make :
Reducing your weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may lower the risk of developing OA, along with the symptoms associated with it. Adhering to a strict diet is important for weight loss. Eat foods that contain high amounts of antioxidants, including fruits, herbs, and vegetables, can help reduce inflammation. Fish and nuts may also help arthritis patients to better deal with inflammation. It is recommended for a person to avoid foods such as processed foods, meat, dairy products, and fried foods.
Studies suggest that gluten antibodies may be present in patients with RA. Patients are also recommended to stick to a gluten-free diet to slow down the progression of RA. A study in 2015 indicated that a gluten-free diet is necessary for people who receive a diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease.
Exercising regularly increases the flexibility of your joints. Doctors also recommend swimming for people with arthritis as it doesn’t put pressure on the joints the way walking and running does. It is necessary to stay proactive, but also to rest when you need to do so.
Patients can try out these exercises at home :
- Finger and thumb bend to ease pain in your hands
- Head tilts and neck rotations to relieve neck pain
- Hamstring stretches, leg raises, and other exercises for knee arthritis
Long-term Outlook for Arthritis Patients :
While there’s no cure for this condition, the right treatment approach can provide you relief from your symptoms. Along with the treatments your physician recommends, you can follow the lifestyle changes mentioned above to help manage your arthritis.
Grocare’s Ayurvedic Treatment For Arthritis:
Grocare India's Turmeric Supplement possesses Natural Curcuminoids (phytonutrients) that are processed in such a manner that can be easily digested by the body. This product is an ayurvedic supplement that has been enhanced without chemically synthesizing it and has the benefits of curcumin. This supplement is even easy to digest, which is perhaps the best thing for the body.
Since curcumin is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, it helps patients with arthritis. Previous studies have shown that people having rheumatoid arthritis felt better after having curcumin extracts compared to any popular anti-inflammatory drug. The Turmeric Supplement works best if 1-2 teaspoons are taken early morning or in the evening post meals. In case of further guidance from our in-house doctors, please contact us by email or phone.
On the other hand, Grocare helps patients with RA get relief from joint pain with its Rheumatoid Arthritis Kit. Grocare India’s Rheumatoid Arthritis include the GC® Supplement, Acidim®, Activiz®, and Stomium that works in harmony to help correct distortion in air element in the joints. GC® and Acidim® work together to balance the pH levels in the body. Both the medicines are comprehensive detoxifiers and are antiprotozoal. Oronerv® acts as a neuro-vascular tonic that strengthens the vascular and nervous systems. Furthermore, it allows the smooth flow of nerve signals. Hence, the pressure on the nerves and joints gets relaxed, thereby helping patients get relief from inflammation and pain.
The company’s pure Ayurvedic Castor Oil is rich in anti-inflammatory agents that are responsible for reducing irritation and swelling in the joints, thereby relieving pain. This property of castor oil may be helpful for patients with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.