Arthritis is an inflammation that occurs in the joints of bones in any part of the body. It is a series of symptoms that happen together that result in arthritis. It is the most common problem among the elderly, but it may affect any age group. Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in America. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and over 50 million people have some kind of arthritis.
Causes of arthritis
There is no specific cause for this disease. The causes vary according to the type of arthritis. Any joint injury may lead to arthritis. Also, malfunction of the immune system, metabolism disorder, infection and inheritance may also lead to arthritis.
Different kinds of arthritis
The most common types of Arthritis that affect most people are listed below.
Osteoarthritis: It is a degenerative joint disease which involves all joints i.e. cartilage, underlying bones and ligaments. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. A recent study shows that in America, 26.9 million adults are suffering from osteoarthritis.
Infectious arthritis – When a bacteria, virus, or fungus enters into joints and causes inflammation, it is called infectious arthritis. A disease like gonorrhoea or hepatitis – C can infect the joint.
Psoriatic arthritis: In the US, it is a common kind of arthritis. In most cases, adults between the age group of 30 – 50 are prone to this kind of arthritis. It is a joint problem, which often occurs with a skin condition called psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis not only causes joint pain, but also can cause death.
Fibromyalgia: This kind of arthritis mainly affects the middle-aged people. In America, more than five million adults suffer from this kind of arthritis. It causes joint pain, sleep disturbance, psychological distress, and widespread pain all over the body.
For proper treatment, you must consult an orthopaedic doctor. He/she would examine your past and present medical history and may give you some pathology tests like complete blood count (CBC), Joint X-ray, bone scan, electrocardiogram (ECG), thyroid function tests, uric acid – urine, uric acid – blood, etc. Once the doctor has completed your diagnosis, he may prescribe medications. There are numerous drugs now available in the market to treat different kinds of arthritis. However, there are a few preventive measures that would give better relief.
Some preventive measures for arthritis have been listed below.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Getting quality sleep
Protecting joints from stress
Taking a healthy balanced diet with lots of green vegetables and antioxidants
Arthritis is becoming quite common, and it not only disturbs your physical health, but also your mental peace. More than 43% adults and more than 30,000 children are being diagnosed with this disease every year. A considerable percentage of the affected are women.
Though arthritis is dreaded for the pain it causes, the trauma due to the pain can be managed very well with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.