Arthritis is a bone related chronic health problem that is also degenerative. It results from the inflammation of joint/joints and is extremely painful. There are several types of arthritis that can have rapid onset symptoms or can be gradually degenerative. Most conditions are very often associated with age but arthritis can also affect people of other ages as well.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes severe joint pain, swelling and stiffness in the affected areas. Sometimes this disease may also change the basic skeletal structure and results in a decreased range of motion. There are two types of Arthritis:
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is the more severe one where the symptoms include loss of appetite, anaemia, inflammation of immune system and/or deformity if left untreated. Arthritis affects women more than men and is also caused due to hereditary factors.
What causes Arthritis?
All joints contain a special tissue called cartilage that acts as a cushion for the connecting joints. The main function of cartilage is to act as a shock absorber and protect the joint. Over a period of time, this tissue wears off and reduces in size. This increases friction in the joints thus causing pain. Arthritis resulting from wear and tear or genetic factors is OA whereas RA is an autoimmune disorder. People with RA have their own immune system attack their tissues. This in turn affects the synovium (lubricating liquid in the joints) and damages the joints irreversibly.
How does Arthritis affect your health and your lifestyle?
This debilitating disease manifests itself with varying degrees of severity. People with mild arthritic symptoms can continue with their daily routine as usual while people with severe symptoms experience restricted movement, stiffness of the joints and chronic pain. Treatment of Arthritis involves taking analgesics (pain killers), immunosuppressants (reduces inflammation) or Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (controls pain and inflammation). Surgery to replace joints with an artificial one and physical therapy are the other treatments available. Your health care practitioner will make an informed decision based on your blood test results and symptoms.
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