Arthritis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Arthritis is a condition in which inflammation of your joints occurs due to various reasons. The most common symptom of it is swelling and tenderness of joints that may come and go. The two most common types of arthritis are mainly osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage, a thin slippery covering over the joint. Whereas, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease- a condition that occurs due to the hyperactivity of your immune system. It not only affects your joints but can also pose damage to the lungs, nerves, skin, eyes, blood, and heart. The characteristic sign of rheumatoid arthritis to differentiate from other types of arthritis is that it occurs symmetrically. If anyone joint is affected, the chances are quite high that the same joint of the other side will be affected. The most common symptom of arthritis is joint pain with inflammation. One of the other types of arthritis is gout-an an inflammatory condition of joints that occurs due to the build-up of uric acid. 


Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder- that occurs due to hyperactivity of your immune system. It causes your joints to become swollen, tender, and painful along with psoriasis- a condition in which your skin replicates much faster than that of usual speed, leading to scale formation over the skin and red patches. 


For the treatment, the healthcare providers may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen. Along with that, they may also prescribe low-dose corticosteroids that help lower inflammation by suppressing the immune system. Arthritis, if left untreated, can result in deformity of joints and bone erosion. The earlier the diagnosis of arthritis is made, the easy it is to treat the condition. If it is diagnosed later, it can cause lifelong complications. Therefore, you should never delay your visit to the healthcare provider if you have a complaint of joint pain. 


Types 


The various types of arthritis are;


  • Ankylosing spondylitis

  • Gout

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Psoriatic arthritis

  • Reactive arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Septic arthritis

  • Thumb arthritis


Symptoms 


Arthritis is a lifelong condition whose symptoms come and go, the periods known as flare and remission respectively. The general signs and symptoms of arthritis are;


  • Tender joints

  • Warm joints

  • Swollen joints

  • Joint stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and after physical Inactivity

  • Fatigue

  • Fever 

  • Loss of appetite

  • Loss of joint function and deformities


Causes 

 

Osteoarthritis occurs when wear and tear of the cartilage occur due to an infection or injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease- a condition that occurs due to the hyperactivity of your immune system. It occurs when your immune system attacks your synovial membrane- a membrane that lines your joints. Due to this, the synovium swells, which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone present within the joint. Slowly, the joint loses its alignment because the tendons and ligaments also lose their shape. 


Risk Factors 


Factors that can put you at risk of getting arthritis are;


  • Female gender

  • Being middle-aged

  • Having a family history of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Smoking 

  • Exposure to asbestos or silica

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Viral infection 

  • Bacterial infection


Treatment 


For the treatment, the healthcare providers may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen. Along with that, they may also prescribe low-dose corticosteroids that help lower inflammation by suppressing the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis, if left untreated. can result in deformity of joints and bone erosion. The earlier the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is made, the easier it is to treat the condition. If it is diagnosed later, it can cause long-life complications.


Conclusion 


Arthritis is a condition in which inflammation of your joints occurs due to various reasons. The most common symptom of it is swelling and tenderness of joints that may come and go. The two most common types of arthritis are mainly osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


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