Thursday, October 22, 2015

Everything that You Need to Know Arthritis

Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the most widespread disorders in the world. The purpose of this article is to provide a useful insight into everything you need to know about arthritis, symptoms, treatments and much more. If you or someone you know suffers from arthritis, then you could definitely benefit from the content below.

 Arthritis overview
Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of one or more affected person’s joints. Although arthritis means joint inflammation, the term is used to describe about 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect tissues that surround joints, joints, and other connective tissue.

The most common types of arthritis include: osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis etc.

What causes arthritis?

Generally, the arthritis causes depend on the type of arthritis the person has. Some causes include injury, metabolic abnormalities, hereditary factors, direct or indirect effects of infections, and misdirected immune system with autoimmunity.

For example, the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear and tear damage to the cartilage of the joints. Cartilage is a type of coating that covers ends of your bones and enables bones and joints to move easily. Wear and tear or damage caused by injury can, often, result in bone grinding directly onto another bone which develops pain and severely limits person’s mobility.

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis that millions of people have, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, which is a membrane that encloses all the joint parts. The lining is known as synovial membrane and as the consequence of the “attack” it becomes swollen and inflamed. This disease can eventually destroy cartilage and bone that is within the joint.

Although everyone can develop arthritis, some people are at higher risk. For example:

  • Age – the risk of developing many types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout increases with age. In most cases it affects people aged 60 and older.
  • Family history – some types of arthritis have hereditary characteristics. For example, if parent has arthritis then children are more likely to get it as well.
  • Gender – some types of arthritis occur more in men than in women. For example, women are prone to rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more prone to developing other types of the disorder including gout.
  • Previous joint injury – people who suffered a joint injury are at higher risk of getting arthritis, this also includes injuries sustained by playing sports etc.
  • Obesity – overweight and obese people put a greater pressure on their bones and joints, particularly knees, hips and spine.
What are the signs and symptoms of arthritis?

Just like with causes, arthritis signs and symptoms may vary and depend on the type of disease. However, patients usually experience symptoms listed below:
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Sensation of warmth on the affected area
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Limited mobility.
In some cases, the patient may also experience:
  • Fever
  • Gland swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling unwell etc.
How is arthritis treated?

Arthritis treatment is usually directed towards relieving symptoms and improving joint function. Your doctor may suggest several different treatments mostly because in most cases, combination of treatments works best.

The most common treatments for arthritis include:
  • Medications – they usually depend on the type of arthritis you have. The most common medications include analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, biologics, corticosteroids etc.
  • Therapy – physical therapy is quite helpful for arthritis. Physical therapists teach you what exercises you can do to improve your mobility and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints.
  • Surgery – is usually the “last resort” and your health care provider may suggest it only if nothing else works.

Here is what you can do to relieve symptoms of arthritis and reduce the pain you feel:
  • Exercise – as it was mentioned above, exercise is beneficial for keeping your joints flexible. Ideally, you should perform low-impact exercises and feel free to ask your physical therapist or even some fitness expert to create a list of exercises you can do.
  • Apply heat compresses or ice packs on affected areas.
  • Lose weight to reduce pressure on joints.
  • Use assistive devices such as canes, walkers, raised toilet seats, jar openers etc. to improve mobility while performing daily tasks.
Arthritis stats

  • 52.5 million (22.7%) of adults in the United States have reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • 1 in 5 people over age of 18 have arthritis.
  • Arthritis is #1 cause of immobility.
  • 67 million (25%) of adults in the United States will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030.
  • About 300,000 babies and children have arthritis, which is approximately 1 in 250 children.


Arthritis involves about 100 joint disorders and inflammations which affect millions of people worldwide. Treatments for arthritis are usually focused on relieving pain and improving mobility. Affected person can introduce various lifestyle adjustments like losing weight, exercising etc. in order to decrease pain severity and relieve arthritis-related signs and symptoms.


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