Arthritis: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Types, Diagnosis, Traitment
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Arthritis: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Types, Diagnosis, Traitment

Symptoms, risk factors, types, diagnosis, and traitment of arthritis, a serious health problem affecting millions of people each year

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation.  It is not a single disease, but rather a single term used to encompass over 100 different diseases and conditions.

Arthritis is indiscriminate and affects people of all races and ages.

Facts about Arthritis

    leading cause of disability in many people

    expected to become more prevalent as "baby boomers" age

    treatable and manageable, but there is no cure

    thought to be impacted to some degree by genetics and environmental triggers

Symptoms Associated with Arthritis

    constant or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint

    swelling in one or more joints

    stiffness around the joints that lasts for at least one hour in the early morning

    redness or warmth around a joint

    reduced joint mobility

    joint deformity

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor or specialist. A doctor who chooses to specialise in arthritis and related illness and disease is called a Rhumatologist.

Common Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, (also known as degenerative arthritis)

Osteoarthritis is the most common or prevalent type of arthritis and is characterized by the deterioration of cartilage covering the ends of bones in a joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an autoimmune, inflammatory arthritis characterized by synovitis, (inflammation of joint lining). It occurs two to three times more often in women than in men.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

A.S. as it is often called, primarily, but not exclusively, affects the spine. It may also involve the hips, shoulders, and knees. It is more common in men than in women.

Gout

Gout affects more men than women and is characterized by uric acid crystals in the joint. This disease causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the affected joint, which is often the big toe.

Scleroderma, (also known as systemic sclerosis)

This is considered a connective tissue disease and is characterized by thickening and hardening of the skin. It is more common in women than in men.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is the most common form of arthritis in childhood and may affect various parts of the body.

 The various types of arthritis are also referred to musculoskeletal conditions and rheumatic diseases and are the leading cause of disability.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Controlling arthritis symptoms and preventing further joint damage is best achieved with early diagnosis and treatment. Laboratory tests specifically ordered to help diagnose arthritis include:

    rheumatoid factor

    C-reactive protein

    joint fluid examination

    anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA)

    complete blood count (CBC)

    creatinine

    erythrocyte sedimentation rate (Sed Rate)

    hematocrit (Ht or HCT) or packed cell volume (PCV)

    synovial fluidn examination

    urinalysis

    white blood count (WBC)

Imaging procedures are used to view the condition of a specific joint while X-rays show images of bones, but not cartilage, muscles and ligaments.

Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show the whole joint including cartilage, muscles and ligaments, whereas Arthroscopic procedures may allow the doctor to view the extent of joint damage.

Treatment of Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic disease, but it is usually manageable and medication is commonly given to treat arthritis. The following types of drugs are prescribed to treat this illness:

    NSAIDs, (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

    DMARDSs, (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs)

    corticosteroids - these suppress the immune system

    BRMs, (biologic response modifiers)

    analgesics, (pain relievers)

    hyaluronic acid products, (these lubricate the knee joint)

No single arthritis treatment works for everyone as individuals respond differently to medication or treatment. The effectiveness of treatment is monitored by blood tests, X-rays and routine clinical exams.

Please note: side effects are possible with all medication.

Exercise is an important part of an arthritis treatment plan as it improves joint mobility, muscle strength, tendon flexibility and general wellness.  Fatigue is often problematic for arthritis patients, but so is inactivity, therefore it is important for sufferers to balance rest and activity.

There are so many myths and misconceptions about arthritis it is important for a newly diagnosed patient to learn all they can about this illness.

Source: Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

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Comments (21)

My mom will love this one. LOL! Shared to her.

Excellent article. It was so nice reading this since I have arthritis. Well done. Voted up.

Many thanks, P: Guims

Caryn, sorry. Thanks for your vote.

Nice work on this one, Licia Anna. At 68 I would otherwise be in perfect physical condition if it wasn't for arthritis in right hip and knee. As a rule it really doesn't bother me that much but ir does flare up from time to time and when that happens I usually resort to OTC medications to keep it in check. I'm from the old school and would rather work through the pain than take a lot of medication. There may come a day when I will no longer be able to do that but that day is a long ways off for me. The martial arts have taught me many things and one of them is how to control pain mentally. Thumbs up. Votrd up.

Excellent information about this disorder, Lucia.

Detailed info about arthritis, well done.

This article will come in handy for most of us I should think... I just hope I need it later, rather than sooner!

You have done an outstanding job with this one.

Comprehensive composition about this disorder

Arthritis is something we all have to worry about. Thanks for the helpful information.

very helpful information

This will probably affect most of us sooner or later.

Very informative and handy!

I am glad I found this well rounded article.

Very informative and well researched.

Lucia, I feel your pain, had arthritis since a teenager and recently joined a drug study for arthritis, will be writing about it shortly!! xoxoxo voted up!!!

well done article

again nice article

Like article,,

Thank you Lucia for this nice article.

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