Complete guide on Arthritis
Our musculoskeletal system plays an important role in our mobility. Allowing for an independent existence, this system enables us to carry out the vital tasks. Any problems of therefore are met not just with the obvious pain, but discomfort and loss of independence as well. One such condition is arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to the set of diseases that affect the joints. Due to this, the joint movement is severely impaired. Symptoms of arthritis include pain and stiffness in the joints. It can also cause swelling and redness in the region. Subsequently, range of motion of the joint is also decreased as a result.
Although it is more common is older population, it can virtually strike anyone; from children to adults, everyone is susceptible to this condition. Arthritis is more common in women. Obese people are also at higher risk of arthritis due to the imposition of their weight on their joints.
How is it diagnosed?
People experiencing the symptoms of arthritis need to visit a doctor. Physical exam and patient history are important in the process of diagnosis. However, ascertaining the condition requires proper tests.
Alongside blood tests for in cases where problems like high uric acid are causing this condition, radiology tests are also done. These include X-ray, MRI or CT-scan; it is important to view the joints in order to rule out other problems as well. But, be sure to visit a good lab like Chughtai Lab Karachi only, as the quality of testing is very much contingent on the laboratory, which can then interfere with proper diagnosis.
What are the types of arthritis?
Occurring in one or any joint, arthritis has over 100 different types, which are split into different subgroups.
Inflammatory arthritis is when there is inflammation in the joints whereas degenerative arthritis is caused due to the wearing away of the cartilage. A type is osteoarthritis that results in not just tissue damage, but joint stiffness as well.
In infectious arthritis, the joint gets attacked by a pathogen which then causes inflammation in the joint. Another type is metabolic arthritis. It results from the buildup of uric acid in the body; excess uric acid forms crystals and settle into the joint, sparking pain in the joint as a result.
Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain results when the joint is injured or overused, but the pain is felt in the peripheral soft tissue. Back ache can be caused by various factors, osteoarthritis being one of them.
Another type of arthritis, connective tissue disease, leads to inflammation and joint pain. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the tissue of the body, thereby leading to joint pain, inflammation and even degeneration of the tissue.
What are the causes of arthritis?
Our joints have cartilage in them that cushions and protects the joints from wear and tear. When the quantity of this connective tissue reduces, joints are then vulnerable to a lot of stress, leading to pain.
How is it treated?
Treatment of arthritis involves home remedies and medication, both. Although it is contingent on the type of arthritis, some helpful treatment options include:
The ultimate goal for the treatment is pain relief, and so pain killers are effective. NSAIDs are helpful in also reducing inflammation alongside the pain. Analgesics can also be taken, but they do not decrease inflammation.
Menthol or similar creams help in blocking the pain admission signals of the body. For in cases like Rheumatoid or inflammatory arthritis, immunosuppressant drugs are also used to reduce the hyperactivity of the immune system.
The purpose of this exercise is to help in the making the muscles strong, which in turn supplement the joints and ease in their mobility.
As being overweight or obese overtaxes the joint, it is very important for people to lose weight. Exercise and healthy diet are the best way to get fit.
Hot and Cool Packs:
Since cool packs help in inflammation reduction, and heat is soothing, many people benefit from the use of hot and cold packs when accosted with pain.
Exercise aids in the strengthening of the muscles and the bones. It is also helpful for patients with arthritis as staying active is important for them. But take up those forms of exercises that do not stress your joints a lot; do exercises like swimming and cycling that do not exert pressure on the joints and yet are beneficial.
Joint replacement surgeries are becoming more and more common with refined technique. Mostly, they are referred to patients who are unable to walk due to hip or knee joints becoming immobile. The joint in question is then replaced by an artificial one.
While there is no cure for arthritis, good disease management can help ease the symptoms. The earlier you are able to get help, the better is the prognosis.
Hence, it is important for anyone experiencing joint pains to immediately visit the doctor and get requisite tests done from a reliable lab like Chughtai Lab, Multan. Post diagnosis, pain management and following in doctor’s guidelines will help in improving symptoms.