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What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis refers to joint inflammation which is used to describe conditions associated with joint pain, connective tissues, and other musculoskeletal diseases. There are more than 100 types of conditions related to arthritis that occur in individuals of all ages and genders. Initially, arthritis signs develop as swelling and tenderness in joints that cause pain and stiffness.

Arthritis can develop gradually and gets worse with age if left untreated. This can hinder the person’s ability to carry out daily tasks such as walking, driving, bathing, etc. Get in touch with a doctor for immediate medical care if you are developing signs of arthritis.

What Are the Types Of Arthritis?

Types of arthritis vary depending on the cause of inflammation. Some arthritis develops as a result of injury or trauma which can result in extreme discomfort and joint pain. Arthritis types include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Metabolic Arthritis (Gout)
  • Infectious Arthritis

What Are the Symptoms Of Arthritis?

Common arthritis symptoms involve joint pain and discomfort depending on the type of arthritis. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. While joint pains are common signs of arthritis, they may not always indicate the disease. Possible arthritis symptoms include the following:

  • Pain and discomfort around the joints.
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion

What Are The Causes Of Arthritis?

Arthritis may arise as a result of wear and tear or may occur due to inflammation. Arthritis causes vary from one person to another according to the type. Some people develop chronic joint pain due to arthritis as they age while some people may develop arthritis at a young age.

There are several risk factors like age, gender, and family history that can increase the probability of arthritis in people. Other causes of arthritis include:

  • A joint injury can lead to degenerative arthritis.
  • An abnormal metabolism can cause gout and CPPD.
  • Infection in the joints can trigger arthritis symptoms.
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

When Should I Consult The Doctor For My Arthritis?

While most joint pains can mimic arthritis symptoms, it is not mandatory to visit the doctor. Some joint pains resolve on their own and do not require any treatment. However, seek medical attention in case you are experiencing the following:

  • Immense pain and stiffness in the joints.
  • Extreme difficulty carrying out daily tasks.
  • Pain and discomfort do not decrease with time.

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

The doctor examines your joints for swelling, redness, and warmth and determines the cause of pain. Arthritis diagnosis involves a physical examination where the doctor will check how well you can move your joints. The primary objective of the diagnosis is to distinguish arthritis symptoms from cramps, sprains, fractures, etc. Therefore, the doctor may recommend diagnostic tests like:

  • Laboratory Tests:
    • Blood Test
    • Urine Test
    • Joint Fluid Test
  • Imaging Tests:
    • X-rays
    • CT Scan
    • MRI
    • Ultrasound

What Are The Different Treatment Methods For Arthritis?

Arthritis treatment aims at relieving symptoms of joint pain, reducing damage, and improving joint function. Effective treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the primary cause of arthritis. A range of strategies can help recover from arthritis or prevent further damage. Arthritis treatment involves the following:

  • Medications: A range of medications can be used to manage mild to moderate symptoms of arthritis. Orthopedic doctors recommend several medicines that can treat inflammation and infections. Arthritis treatment includes a range of medicines like:
    • Analgesics
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Counterirritants
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
    • Biologics
    • Corticosteroids
  • Therapies: Doctors often recommend a course of therapies to help patients with arthritis increase their range of motion and reduce immobility. These therapies involve specific exercises tailored to individual needs to carry out everyday tasks and prevent the joints from further damage. Therapies like acupuncture, yoga & tai chi, massages, etc. prove to be effective alternatives for arthritis treatment. Different forms of therapies include:
    • Physical Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
  • Lifestyle modifications: Lifestyle changes aim to reduce the risk of severity and prevent the joint from damaging further. Doctors recommend a balanced diet and appropriate exercise to reduce arthritis symptoms. Additionally, certain food items can provide the nutritional value required for healthy joints. Here are some foods that are good for joint health:
    • Beans
    • Fish
    • Fruits & Vegetables
    • Nuts & Seeds
    • Whole grains
    • Olive oil
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention for arthritis treatment becomes inevitable when the conventional methods are ineffective. Depending on the type of arthritis and the joint condition, the doctor recommends surgery to relieve pain and discomfort. Surgical procedures for arthritis treatment include the following:
    • Synovectomy
    • Total joint replacement (TJR)
    • Osteotomy
    • Joint fusion

How Can I Prevent Arthritis?

Arthritis prevention aims at reducing the risks that can cause chronic joint pain. Joint injuries are common causes of arthritis. They can be prevented individually by wearing proper protective gear while playing sports or engaging in adventure activities or using safety measures while riding a vehicle. Here are some measures that help relieve joint pains and prevent arthritis:

  • Maintaining weight
  • Controlling blood sugar level
  • Minimal exercises and stretching techniques.
  • Quit smoking or consuming alcohol.
  • Avoid processed foods that contain sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Regular health checkups with the doctor to avoid any complications.


What is the fastest way to cure arthritis?

Effective arthritis treatment for mild to moderate symptoms involves a combination of medications and therapies. Surgical procedures ensure long-term relief and faster recovery, due to which they are widely recommended by the doctor.

How can I choose the best doctor for arthritis treatment?

Here are some factors that you must consider while choosing the best arthritis doctor for your treatment:

  • Years of experience
  • Number of surgeries
  • Patient reviews
  • Consultation fee
  • Availability of the doctor on the day of surgery
  • Experience in handling the latest technology

Can arthritis affect children?

Yes, Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), a type of arthritis that affects children can cause permanent damage to the joints. There is no cure for the condition, however, remission is possible during which time the disease remains inactive. Get in touch with the doctor in case your child is experiencing arthritis symptoms.

Are medicines effective for arthritis treatment?

Doctors generally recommend medications in case of mild to moderate symptoms. Medications are effective in managing pain and discomfort due to joint stiffness to carry out daily tasks. However, in the case of extreme pain, surgical intervention has long-term health benefits.

What are the complications of untreated arthritis?

Long-term arthritis can create difficulty for patients to carry out their daily tasks due to joint stiffness and pain. Moreover, people with arthritis in weight-bearing joints such as the knee can experience difficulty in walking, driving, or even standing. Some joints may even lose their alignment and shape if the arthritis treatment is prolonged.

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