More about Treatment
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is simply inflammation of the joints which can affect one joint or multiple joints.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
There are two main types of arthritis — osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis — both of them damage joints in different ways. (See picture)
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis- It involves wear-and-tear damage to your joint's cartilage —where they form a joint. Cartilage acts as a lubricant and cushion for bone to move on bone. However it can be damaged so badly that it can lead to bone grinding directly on bone. This causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
Osteoarthritis also affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bones and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold the joint together. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint covering, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint.
Cartilage is a firm but flexible connective tissue in your joints. It protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created when you move and put stress on them. A reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage tissue cause some forms of arthritis.
RA is a disease of the synovium that will invade and destroy a joint. It can eventually lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint.
The exact cause of the immune system’s attacks is unknown. But scientists have discovered genetic markers that increase your risk of developing RA five fold.
Symptoms of Arthritis
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve pain in the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may include:
Decreased range of motion
Diagnosis of Arthritis
Your Doctor is the best person to consult with. He may refer to a specialist based on the type and development of the disease.
Doctors commonly use diagnostic tests such as blood test, extracting joint fluids, imaging scans CT scans, X- Rays, MRI, and other types of equipments to diagnoise and find the exact disease.
Risk factors for arthritis include:
Family history. Some types of arthritis run in families, as it is genetic, and certain genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
Age. The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout — increases with age.
Environment. Usually cold conditions cause Arthritis to occur or become severe.
Sex. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, are men.
Previous joint injury. People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
Obesity. Obese persons have more chances of getting arthritis.
There is no sure way to prevent arthritis. But you can reduce your risk, and delay the potential onset of certain types of arthritis. If you have healthy joints right now, do all you can now to maintain mobility and function and avoid the pain and disability associated with arthritis.
There are risk factors that are not modifiable. That means there is nothing you can do about them. Being female and having a family history of arthritis (genetic profile) are two examples of factors that make people more likely – but not certain -- to get some types of arthritis.
In contrast, some risk factors are considered to be modifiable. They are the behaviors and circumstances that can be changed in order to reduce risk, delay onset or altogether prevent arthritis. Here are just a few examples arthritis and related diseases and associated modifiable risk factors:
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Do not smoke
Can Arthritis be cured naturally?
1. Lose weight
2. Lead active life and Get more exercise (usually low impact exercises like walking or stationery bike)
3. Use hot and cold therapy
Simple hot and cold treatments can alleviate arthritis pain. Long, warm showers or baths — especially in the morning — help ease stiffness in your joints.
Cold treatments like wrapping a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief.
4. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body. It is thought that acupuncture has the ability to reduce arthritis pain. If you want to explore this treatment method, be sure to find a licensed and certified acupuncturist in your state.
5. Use meditation to cope with pain
Meditation and relaxation techniques may be able to help you reduce pain from arthritis by reducing stress and enabling you to cope with it better.
6. Ideal Diet
Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin that may help to reduce arthritis pain. The secret is its anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Get a massage
According to the Arthritis Foundation, regular massaging of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness and improve your range of motion. Work with a physical therapist to learn self-massage, or schedule appointments with a massage therapist regularly.
Never embark on a line of treatment by yourselves. It is a good idea to consult your doctor before you start a line of treatment even from the initial stages. Prevention is always better than Cure.
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