Arthritis is primarily an inflammation of one or more joints in the body. It is usually identified as an inflammation in the joints of the body. Arthritis per se refers to the most common Osteoarhritis affecting the larger joints, knees most commonly Hips, elbows, , ankles and spine can also be affected. Inflammation in smaller joints is often referred to as ‘rheumatism’ as it is extensively seen in Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune systemic disease rather than an arthritis. Affliction of toes also seen in Gouty arthritis.
Interestingly, arthritis is an umbrella term to describe an astonishing 200 or more disorders that affect the joints and connective tissue. The condition typically manifests as pain in the joints, soreness, difficulty moving, a ‘cracking’ sound when moving the said joint, constant aching, etc.
What causes arthritis
Arthritis commonly starts in the cartilage of the joint. The cartilage offers joint support to absorb shock and the impact of sudden movement. It is a flexible tissue connecting the joints. For reasons unknown, the body’s immune systems can attack the cells in the cartilage and reduce the tissue. As a result, the joint becomes weaker and any movement causes friction and pain.
Science has still not been able to establish why the immune system attacks the cells in the cartilage tissue. However, the process is certainly accelerated by age, wear and tear, injury, lack of nutrition that can lubricate the cartilage, and so on. The most common reason for non-immune system prone arthritis seen in the wear and tear of the cartilage, is excess weight. Those who are overweight or obese are twice as likely as others to develop arthritic joints.
Your genetic makeup plays a role in the development of arthritis. For example, if an older relative or parent has had it, then the chances of you having it are quite high.
Apart from genetics, other factors at play that cause or lead to the progression of arthritis include age related wear and tear, infections leading to joint inflammation, injury that does not heal properly, immune system anomaly, habits like smoking and substance abuse, and abnormal metabolism.
Types of arthritis
Arthritis is commonly identified into these types:
Arthritis is treated using a combination of methods to control pain, eliminate pain, minimise further damage to the joint, and improve daily functioning. This involves medication, changing one’s lifestyle, incorporating gentle exercises and stretching, having a balanced diet, and so on.
Doctors treating arthritis typically use these strategies for treatment:
Disclaimer : The details provided herein is meant for informative purposes only. For detailed information related to the disease and its treatment please consult a relevant qualified specialist.
Prevention is better than cure!
Arthritis may happen to anyone, and in recent years, it has been found among children, teenagers and 20-somethings, too. Instead of waiting for the disorder to strike and then trying to deal with it, it is better to prevent it as far as possible. Consider the following ways to keep your joints in good fettle: