WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects joint function and causes pain, inflammation, stiffness, and limited movement. Symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the type of arthritis. The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The first occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in joints is broken, while the second occurs when the immune system attacks the joints. Gout is related to an excess of uric acid in the blood, and other underlying infections or diseases can cause other types of arthritis.
Treatments for arthritis typically include over-the-counter or prescription medications, regular physical exercise, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Sometimes injections or surgeries may also be needed to restore movement and reduce pain. These treatments aim primarily to reduce symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ARTHRITIS?
The main types of arthritis are thumb arthritis, idiopathic juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, osteoarthritis.
There are also some forms of arthritis that can be acute and disappear on their own, such as post-infectious arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of reactive arthritis.
CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS
The main causes of arthritis depend on the type of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and idiopathic juvenile arthritis are autoimmune diseases, meaning the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in joints wears down over time. Gout is related to an excess of uric acid in the blood, while some infections and underlying diseases can cause other types of arthritis.
The risk factors for arthritis depend on the type of arthritis, but some common factors include advanced age, female gender, family history of arthritis, a weakened immune system, obesity, and previous injuries to the joints. Some autoimmune diseases can also be a risk factor for developing certain types of arthritis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of arthritis can vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main symptoms are pain, inflammation, stiffness, and limited movement. Fever, fatigue, eye problems, and changes in the skin can also be signs of arthritis. Some types of arthritis can cause swelling in the joints, deformities in the joints and a general feeling of discomfort. Other symptoms include pain when moving or pressing an affected joint, localized heat or swelling around the joint, constipation and diarrhea due to inflammation of the small intestine.
The treatments for arthritis generally include over-the-counter or prescription medications, regular physical exercise, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. It may also include injections or surgery to help restore movement and reduce pain. Sometimes patients also receive alternative treatments such as massages, acupuncture, and laser therapy. In some cases, nutritional supplements are recommended to improve overall well-being. Treatments can be combined to achieve the best results.