What is Arthritis? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hand writing Arthritis with blue marker on transparent wipe board isolated on white.

As you grow older, you will likely feel a lot of joint problems which will possibly lead to the diagnosis of Arthritis. This condition could lose you more workdays because of the pain you feel and the discomfort you experience.

A “joint inflammation” condition, Arthritis is not just a single disease. It is a group of 100 different conditions that create unique problems and symptoms to the joints as well as to the muscles and other parts of the body. Common types of Arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter’s diseases, polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, and systemic lupus erythematosus. These types of Arthritis require different medical approach in order to be treated.

What Causes Arthritis

  1. Injury

 If you have any kind of physical injury that may result to wearing out of your joint, then you will most likely develop Arthritis. Any type of injury may cause Arthritis such as injury from a vehicular accident, a fall, or any situation that causes physical trauma. These injuries aggravate the natural breakdown of cartilage, resulting in damage to the bones.

  1. Infections 

Arthritis may also exist as a result of bacterial or fungal infection. Usually when there is an infection, the joint eventually inflames. It does not only affect a single joint but it may also affect other joints such as the knee or the hip.

  1. Abnormal metabolism

An abnormal metabolism can also lead to Arthritis. Say for an example, when you have high levels of uric acid in the blood, this gradually accumulates in the joints which result to the development of Arthritis and a painful sensation. Common types of Arthritis that result in this metabolic problem are gout and pseudogout.

  1. Inheritance

An Arthritis that runs in the family and genetics appears to be commonly involved. If you have a father, mother, uncle, aunt, and grandparents on both sides that have Arthritis, there is a great chance that you will also inherit this condition.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Symptoms of this condition vary from person to person. They can also be changed from day to day. The following are the list of manifestations that you may experience when you have an Arthritis:

  1. Joint stiffness
  2. Joint pain
  3. Joint swelling
  4. Fatigue
  5. Mild fever
  6. Numbness
  7. Tingling
  8. Decrease of range in motion (ROM)
  9. General weakness
  10. Presence of discharges in the eyes
  11. Itchiness and inflammation in the eyes
  12. Dry mouth
  13. Loss of appetite
  14. Weight loss
  15. Difficult of sleeping

Treatment

Medications:

  1. Analgesics

Analgesics are one of the commonly prescribed medications for people with Arthritis. It manages the pain, however, it does not treat inflammation. Common analgesics for Arthritis include Tylenol, Tramadol, Ultram, Ultracet, Percocet, Oxycontin, Vicoprofen, Norco, and many others.

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

For management of both pain and inflammation, NSAIDs are the typical drug of choice. This group of medications can be bought over-the-counter. Such drugs include Motrin IB, Advil, Aleve, and several others. However, you have to take note that these drugs can cause adverse reactions such as stomach discomfort. It may also cause serious problems like stroke and heart attack.

  1. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

These drugs are the drug of choice specifically for rheumatoid arthritis. Their action includes preventing the immune system to potentially attack the joints. Some DMARDs that are often prescribed by the physicians are Plaquenil and Trexall.

  1. Counterirritants

People with Arthritis may feel irritation in the skin which is why a counterirritant drug is required to reduce the symptom. Counterirritant drugs are usually ointments and creams that are rubbed on the skin over the part that is aching or swelling.

  1. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are one of the best drugs that manage inflammation. They usually include cortisone and prednisone. The route depends, whether they should be taken orally or be directly injected into the joint.

Therapy:

A person with Arthritis can opt for a Therapy method once the condition gradually improves from medications or if the condition is not severe enough to cause serious damage. What you can expect from this form of treatment is a series of exercises which help improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles that surround the joints.

Surgery:

In serious cases by which medications and therapy do not work out, surgery is often advised. Surgical methods that are usually done include joint repair, joint replacement, and joint fusion.

Posted in Arthritis, Diseases.

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