What is Arthritis, Causes and Treatment

What is arthritis? It is a condition that affects the musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints. Arthritis cause stiffness and pain the body, this is because the joints become inflamed when you have arthritis. In the United States, 1 out of 5 American adult or about 50 million individual have confirmed arthritis.

There are over 100 types of arthritis, and all have different causes and treatment. Arthritis can appear slowly or you may feel instant joint pain. This health problem usually affects people over the age of 60, but there are cases when teens and children can also develop juvenile arthritis. Joint problem caused by arthritis is common to women than men and people who are overweight.

Causes of Arthritis

There are different causes of arthritis. Some forms are caused by reduction of cartilage tissue. Osteoarthritis is the most common forms of arthritis and this problem is caused by wear and tear or a natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. This form of arthritis is common to those who have a history of the disease in their family.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another caused of joint pain. This form of arthritis is due an auto immune problem, a condition wherein the body attacks itself or the tissues in the cartilage and body. When the body attacks the tissues, they affects the so called synovium. The synovium caused lack of fluid in the cartilage, which is necessary to lubricate the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually leads to the damage of cartilage and bone.

Signs of Arthritis

The most common signs of arthritis are stiffness and joint pain. Stiffness often occurs in the morning. The other symptom is swelling of the joints that cause restriction of movements. For rheumatoid arthritis patient, it is common for them to experience loss of appetite and tiredness. This is because of the inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the body.

They may experience reduction of red blood cells that caused them to become anemic or have a fever. When a person has severe rheumatoid arthritis and the problem left untreated, it will lead to joint deformity. In order to avoid the worst case scenario, you should consult with your doctor.

The doctor will perform a physical exam to check for a range of motion in the joint, they will also check for lack of fluid around the joint or affected area. When doctor suspects problem in the tissue cause by fluid, they may order imaging scans to check the level of inflammation. The imaging scans often ordered by doctors are MRI, X-ray and the most commonly used technology the CT scans.

Arthritis Treatment

The main objective of arthritis treatment is not to fix the problem, but to reduce the pain that you are experiencing. Treatments are also done to prevent further damage to the joints and improving function. The usual treatment ordered by doctors is combination of therapy and medication.

Medications that control or reduce the pain are often prescribed to patients. The most common medications are vicodin and Tylenol. These medications are effective for reducing pain, but they do not help reduce inflammation in the joints. There are medications that can control both inflammation and pain but they are not often prescribed for several reasons.

Anyway, if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor will prescribe DMARDs, disease modifying antirhreumatic drugs or corticosteroids to suppress the immune system that attacking your tissue.

Surgery is another option and usually done to replaced the joints in the knees and hips with artificial joints. If you have a severe arthritis in the wrist or fingers, doctors can perform a joint fusion operation. The procedure entails locking of the end’s bones until they become one and heal completely.

Physical therapy also recommended for strengthening the muscles, especially on the affected area or joint. Aside from therapy, you will be ordered to lose weight as well to reduce the signs of arthritis particularly if you suffer from osteoarthritis. Losing weight may also prevent the development of osteoarthritis.

Good nutrition is advised to patients with arthritis. Health lifestyle is important to avoid triggering arthritis. But the problem is most people do not live a healthy lifestyle. They do not eat food that promotes good health. If you are one of them, you should consider taking health supplements to meet your daily nutrient needs.

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