Arthritis

Arthritis Treatment

The term “arthritis” means inflammation of the joint. It is a broad term that is used to describe rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints and tissues that surround the joint. It may affect Knee, Hip, Wrist, Elbow, Ankle or Shoulder joint.l

Arthritis Treatment in Chennai

Facts about Arthritis
  • Symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly

  • Symptoms may come and go, or persist over time

  • Commonly affect adults aged 55 years or older, but can occur at any age

  • Women are more prone to arthritis than men

  • It is possible to have more than one form of arthritis at the same time

  • Impacts daily as well as work related activities

  • Most common cause of disability (18%) & depression (18.1%)

  • Some forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms

Risk factors for Arthritis

There are certain factors that have been greatly associated with a greater risk of arthritis. These include:

  • Age: Increasing age increases the risk

  • Sex: 60% of arthritis patients are female except for gout which is more common in males than females

  • Genetic: Certain types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and ankylosing spondylitis have a genetic tendency and certain genes are associated with a higher risk of arthritis

  • Hypertension & high cholesterol

  • Being overweight and obesity

  • Joint injuries causing joint damage

  • Infection in joints

  • Occupation that require repetitive knee bending and squatting

  • Physical inactivity

  • Excessive smoking

  • Higher BMI

  • Abnormal metabolism

Although in most of the cases, arthritis is basically caused due to combination of these factors working together, but some arthritis conditions have no obvious cause and appear to be unpredictable in their emergence

Types of Arthritis

Although there are more different types of arthritis but they can be mainly split into following groups:

  • Inflammatory arthritis

  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis

  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain

  • Back pain

  • Connective tissue disease

  • Infectious arthritis

  • Metabolic arthritis

Signs and symptoms of arthritis

Although the presenting signs and symptoms of arthritis depends upon its type, location and cause and can vary widely, but the major warning signs are almost always present and include the following:

  • Pain: Pain in the affected joint is the cardinal sign of arthritis. Pain can be constant, or intermittent that might be isolated to one place or felt in many parts of the body.

  • Swelling: Arthritis term means inflammation of joint so swelling is also almost always found over the affected joint. In addition to swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness is also found in some types of arthritis.

  • Stiffness: Another typical symptom of arthritis is increased stiffness that may occur on different timing. Some forms are associated with increased stiffness upon waking up in the morning, or after sitting at a desk or after sitting in a car for a long time, and others result in stiffness after exercise.

  • Difficulty moving a joint: In most of the cases of arthritis, it becomes difficult for the patient to randomly move the affected joint or suddenly get up from chair.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Diagnosis of arthritis requires a detailed medical and family history along with physical examination of the patient. In cases with suspicion of arthritis, following diagnostic tests are done to confirm the diagnosis:

  • X-ray of the joint

  • MRI

  • Bone scan

  • Synovial fluid analysis

  • Rheumatoid factor

  • Anti-CCP antibody

  • Complete blood count (CBC)

  • C-reactive protein

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

  • Uric acid urine or blood

Treatments for Arthritis

Treatment of arthritis specifically depends upon the cause and type of arthritis. In most of the cases, following conservative therapies may reduce or relive the pain :

  • Medications

  • Non-pharmacologic therapies

  • Physical or occupational therapy

  • Splints or joint assistive aids

  • Patient education and support

  • Weight loss