Arthritis Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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Causes of Arthritis

 Because there are different types of arthritis, its causes also vary. There is no single cause that could lead to all arthritis types. The following are the possible cause that will lead you to this health condition:

  • Injury – some accidents will injure your joints and tissues, and due to this, degenerative arthritis can be developed
  • Abnormal Metabolism – if your body fails to perform its duty when regards to metabolism, it can lead to gout and pseudogout
  • Inheritance – many types of arthritis have been passed from one generation to another. If you know that one or more of your family members is experiencing this condition, you should monitor your health and make sure to be careful with your lifestyle
  • Infections – some types of arthritis can either be due to a direct or indirect effect of an infection (viral and bacteria)
  • Immune System Dysfunction – your body, maybe exhibiting a low immune system, and if this happens, you are likely to develop systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Many people, especially those who are aging, may not be aware that they have arthritis. The pain and swelling that they can feel in as they walk might sound reasonable to them. But that is not supposed to be the situation. If you can think that your joints are not performing well, you have to listen to your body. Pause for a while and examine yourself. If you think your body is showing the following symptoms, it is best to see your medical provider and seek for his help: 

  1. Pain – this is the most common sign of arthritis. It may be a constant pain or a pain that comes and goes. Different types of arthritis can affect one, two, or many parts of your body. If the kind of pain that you feel discomforts you and affects your daily activity, it’s time that you seek a professional medication.
  2. Swelling – because your joints are not doing well, it can cause some swelling to the affected part of your body. The skin around your affected joints turns into a red and will look swollen. You will also feel warm whenever you touch the area.
  3. Stiffness – getting stiff as you wake up in the morning or after sitting for a long time can result in stiffness of your body part. It is a common symptom that every individual who has arthritis. 
  4. Movement Difficulty – it’s only typical that you experience some movement difficulty with movement due to arthritis. One example is when you try to get up from a chair.

Treatment of Arthritis

When we talk about treatment, its primary goal is to lessen joint damage, control the pain, and maintain or improve the patient’s quality of life. There are many choices for treating arthritis. These treatments might include:

  1. Medication – different types of arthritis that don’t include inflammation, like osteoarthritis, can be treated through pain-reducing medicines, self-management programs, and weight loss, and physical activities. This type of treatment can also be administered to inflammatory types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, as long as it is accompanied with anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and the recent class of drugs publicly known as biologics. Medications will depend on the type of arthritis that you were diagnosed with. 
  2. Physical Therapy – this kind of medication might not apply to all types of arthritis, but this is very helpful and effective. Various exercises can improve the physical activity of the patient and can strengthen the muscles that are surrounding the joints. With some conditions, braces and splint are recommended as part of the process of physical therapy.
  3. Change of Lifestyle – those people who are obese or overweight have a high chance of developing arthritis. Regular exercise and proper diet are recommended to reduce your weight, and it will eventually reduce the stress on those joints that bear your burden. 
  4. Surgery – if those treatments mentioned above will not work, your medical provider might advise the help of medicine for your arthritis. Some of the standard operations include joint, repair, joint replacement, and joint fusion. Further laboratory exams must be done beforehand to determine the right surgery for you.

Arthritis might sound manageable for many people, but if it is left untreated, it can result to a more serious problem and more expensive treatment. 

Healthy Joints for A Better Life

Your joints must be kept healthy if we want to keep the kind of life that you are experiencing today. If you’re going to walk, run, and play sports freely, make sure that your joints are its best. And how can you do that? Here are some of the best tips:

  • Keep the shape of your bones or components. One of the examples is the hips. The femoral head and the deep socket must fit together as this part of your body bears your weight. 
  • Keep the cartilage health at its best. Cartilage is a smooth tissue that cushions our joints so that the bones don’t rub together. This function is performed with the help of synovium and synovial fluid. 
  • Maintain your ligaments. If you want to keep the alignment of your joints, and make sure that they are performing according to their range of motion, maintain the performance of your ligaments. 

Aside from these tips, here are the list of foods that you should eat to keep healthy joints:

  1. Cherries – there are a series of experiments and research that have revealed that fresh cherries can control inflammation. Other colored fruits that you can substitute with cherries are pomegranates, blackberries, and blueberries.
  2. Red Peppers – red pepper is rich with Vitamin C, and it helps your body in producing collagen. This collagen is part of the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons that are responsible for protecting your joints and holding them together. 
  3. Canned Salmon – some people may not know about this, but canned salmon is good for healthy joints. It is loaded with calcium and vitamin D that will help in keeping your bones stronger. The omega-3s it has is also great for curb inflammation.
  4. Walnuts – this kind of food is rich with different nutrients that can fight inflammation. But walnuts are also high in calories, so always limit the number of walnuts that you consume every day. 
  5. Turmeric – Curcumin is a chemical that can be found in Turmeric. And a study had found that curcumin extract is useful in reducing knee pains.

Risks of Having Arthritis

Just like other medical conditions, arthritis can also contribute some risks to you and your family. The following are only some risks that come with arthritis:

  • Family History. Because there are types of arthritis that can be transferred from one generation to another, you are most likely to develop this disorder if your parents or someone in your family has arthritis. If your ancestors failed to treat their arthritis, there is a big chance that you will get it through their genes and it can be developed later on.
  • Age. The different discomforts and problems due to arthritis can escalate as you get older. These types of arthritis are RA, gout, and osteoarthritis.
  • History with Joint Injury. A person who had experienced injury with their joint is more likely to develop arthritis. Most of these injuries are due to sports and other physical activities.
  • Obesity. If you don’t want your weight-bearing joints to carry a lot of stress, you have to keep your weight proportional to your body size. If possible, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise often and eat the right foods to keep your body safe from this condition. Arthritis is very common to those people who are obese or overweight.

Severe arthritis can affect your daily life in many ways. It can stop you from doing the different activities that you are used to doing, such as playing your favorite sports, climbing the mountain, going to different places, and many more. It can give you multiple discomforts that will make your life difficult. 

When to Seek Medical Attention?

The pain caused by arthritis can become big trouble for you. It’s the best time to seek medical attention if you are experiencing the following:

  • If you experience joint symptoms (pain, swelling, stiffness, and skin redness) for more than three days
  • If you experience occasional episodes of joint symptoms within a month

Different scientific researches have been done to improve the lives of those people who have any type of arthritis.