Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. It is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. Arthritis is usually chronic, which means that it is ongoing.
This is the most common type of arthritis. It is a chronic disease of the joints, especially the weight-bearing joints of the knee, hip, and spine. It is caused by the wear and tear of the joint over time or overuse.
The lining of the joints (called synovium) become inflamed, causing painful swelling and eventually joint deformity and bone erosion. People with rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs in their body.
There are other types of arthritis and related conditions like Ankylosing spondylitis (affecting spine); Cervical spondylosis (affecting neck); Fibromyalgia ( affecting muscles, ligaments and tendons); Gout.
The cause of arthritis depends on the type of arthritis. Conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis are caused by the body’s immune system attacking the body’s own tissues. Gout is caused by the buildup of crystals in the joints. Some form of arthritis may even be linked to genes. In many other forms of arthritis, the cause is not known.
Older age, gender ( Women are more likely to have arthritis), injury and infection to joints, occupation that involves repetitive bending or squatting are some of the risk factors that can lead to arthritis.
Physical exam and evaluation of medical history aids in the diagnosis of the condition. The doctor may also ask for certain tests, like the Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) test, among others.
Treatment will depends on symptoms, age, general health, type of arthritis and the severity of the condition. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation, and ensure joints function properly. There is no cure for arthritis, but it is important to work on lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life like weight loss. regular exercise ‘
Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
Inflammation in and around the joints
Restricted movement of the joints
Warm, red skin over the affected joint
Weakness and muscle wasting