Arthritis – What you need to know!
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints characterized by severe pain, swelling and limited movements of the joint. Despite being a very common condition, Arthritis is quite poorly understood.
Types of Arthritis:
There are multiple types of Arthritis, however, the most common ones include:
- Osteoarthritis – Age related changes in joints leading to symptoms
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Overactive immune system leading to symptoms
Arthritis can involve any joint, most common being the knee joint in the elderly, smaller joints like finger joints in case of Rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis include:
- Severe pain
- Swelling of joints
- Limited and painful movements
- Stiffness of joints
- Redness of the joints
Risk factors of Arthritis – Though Osteoarthritis is age related, there are certain risk factors associated with arthritis.
- Age – risk of arthritis increases with increasing age
- Family history – Some type of arthritis are hereditary in nature
- Gender – Females are at higher risk
- Previous joint injury
What can be done once diagnosed with Arthritis?
No doubt, medicines form the mainstay of treatment once you consult your Doctor, however Arthritis can be prevented from further worsening by following guided exercise program to strengthen the joint.
In some cases, surgery is often recommended in case the symptoms do not alleviate over a few weeks.
Some factors to consider include:
- Reducing weight – Weight loss has shown to reduce pain as it reduces the stress on weight-bearing joints
- Exercise – Regular exercise like swimming and water aerobics reduces stress on joints
- Heating or Cooling Pads – can be used when prescribed based on your condition to further reduce pain
- Increase intake of calcium rich food – calcium supports bone strength and helps in prevention and delayed onset of Arthritis
Arthritis is not fever or common cold to disappear within 2 to 3 days with a few medicines. Arthritis takes time – days, weeks or sometimes even months to subside.
Be more than well. Be well prepared and take precautions – consult a Doctor for detailed advise.