What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints. Uric acid crystals, which form when there’s too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Infections or underlying diseases, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis. Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to diminish symptoms and improve quality of life.
TYPES OF ARTHRITIS
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Thumb arthritis
SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Decreased range of motion
CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS
The two main types of arthritis osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis damage joints differently.
Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to a joint’s cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones where they form a joint. Cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and allows nearly frictionless joint motion, yet enough damage can result in bone grinding straightforwardly on bone, which causes pain and restricted development. This wear and tear can happen over many years, or a joint injury or infection may hasten it. Osteoarthritis also causes bone changes and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and keep the joint intact. On the off chance that cartilage in a joint is severely damaged, the joint lining may become inflamed and swollen.
Rheumatoid arthritis: In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the common parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
Risk factors for arthritis include:
- Family history. Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder.
- The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout — increases with age.
- Your sex. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most people who have gout, another type of arthritis, are men.
- Previous joint injury. People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to develop arthritis in that joint eventually.
- Carrying excess pounds stresses joints, mainly your knees, hips, and spine. People with obesity have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Severe arthritis, particularly assuming it affects your hands or arms, can make it challenging for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can hold you back from walking comfortably or sitting upright. In some cases, joints may gradually lose their alignment and shape.
TREATMENTS OF ARTHRITIS
The doctor will probably prescribe a course of physical therapies to assist you with managing some of the symptoms of arthritis. Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life. A range of medications and lifestyle strategies can assist with achieving this and safeguard joints from further injury.
Treatment could involve:
- non-pharmacologic therapies
- physical or occupational therapy
- splints or joint assistive aids
- patient education and support
- weight loss
- surgery, including joint replacement
A healthful, balanced diet with appropriate exercise, avoiding smoking, and not drinking excess alcohol can assist individuals with arthritis in maintaining their overall health.
No specific diet treats arthritis, but some types of food may help reduce inflammation.
The following foods found in a Mediterranean diet can provide many nutrients that are good for joint health:
- nuts and seeds
- fruits and vegetables
- olive oil
- whole grains
FOODS TO AVOID
There are some foods that individuals with arthritis may want to avoid.
Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, contain a chemical called solanine that some studies have linked with arthritis pain. Research findings are blended when it comes to these vegetables; however, some individuals have reported a reduction in arthritis symptoms when avoiding nightshade vegetables.
Self-management of arthritis symptoms is also important.
Key strategies include:
- staying physically active
- achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- getting regular check-ups with the doctor
- protecting joints from unnecessary stress
Seven habits that can help a person with arthritis diagnosed to manage their condition are:
- Being organized: monitor symptoms, pain levels, medications, and possible side effects for consultations with your doctor.
- Managing pain and fatigue: a medication routine can be combined with non-medical pain management. Learning to manage fatigue is critical to living comfortably with arthritis.
- Staying active: exercise is beneficial for managing arthritis and overall health.
- Balancing activity with rest: in addition to remaining active, rest is equally important when your disease is active.
- Eating a healthful diet: balanced eating routine can assist you with achieving a healthy weight and controlling inflammation. Avoid refined, processed foods favorable to inflammatory animal-determined foods and choose entire plant foods that are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Improving sleep: poor sleep can aggravate arthritis pain and fatigue. Please take steps to develop sleep cleanliness further so you find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid caffeine and strenuous evening exercise and restrict screen time just before sleeping.
- Caring for joints: tips for protecting joints include using the more substantial, larger joints as levers when opening doors, using several joints to spread the heaviness of an item, such as using a backpack, and gripping as loosely as possible by using padded handles.
Try not to sit in the same position for long periods. Take regular breaks to keep portable.
Are you searching for the best doctor to defeat all your issues? Contact Dr. Niraj Patel (physiotherapist).