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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Arthritis Management

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. There is no permanent cure for arthritis but it can be managed by taking timely treatment. A joint is where two or more bones come together, such as the knee or hip. The bones of your joints are covered with cartilage. It cushions the bones and allows the joint to move without pain. The joint is lined by synovial fluid ( slippery fluid ). Outside it is a strong fibrous causing the joint capsule. Ligaments connect bones and help to keep the joint stable. Muscles and tendons also support your joint and allow you to move. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and the two most common are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis:

It causes the cartilage on both the end of your bones to wear away. That makes the bones rub against each other. It happens with age and it is called degenerative joint disease. With injury or fracture near a joint can lead to arthritis. Being overweight can also cause arthritis such as the knee, hip, and spine.


Rheumatoid arthritis:

The long-lasting disease can affect joints in any part of the body but most often involves the hand, wrists, and knees. The inflammation spreads to the nearby tissues and can damage cartilage and bone. In more severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the areas of the body, such as the skin, eyes, and nerves.


Gout:

This is a painful condition that happens when the body can’t get rid of a natural substance called uric acid. The excessive uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joints that cause marked inflammation with swelling and nerve pain. Gout most often affects the big toe, knee, and wrist joints.


Causes of arthritis:

The cause of many types of arthritis is unknown. Genetic and lifestyle can play role in the development of arthritis. There are several things that may raise the risk for arthritis like age, genes, being overweight, injuries, infection, and work.


Symptoms:

Different types of arthritis have different symptoms that can vary in severity from person to person. Osteoarthritis does not generally cause any symptoms outside the joint. Symptoms of other types of arthritis may include fatigue, fever, a rash, joint inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness, warmth, and joint deformity.


Treatment:

Consult your family qualified doctor to diagnose arthritis timely. He will go through your medical history and ask for a blood and urine test, X-rays to diagnose correctly before treatment like medication, surgery, and necessary precautions such as exercise, maintaining a normal weight, healthy diet, etc. Knee replacement and hip replacement surgery is quite common treatment. Artificial joints made of stainless steel, plastic, and ceramic materials are mostly used. Shoulder joints, as well as smaller joints in elbows and fingers, can also be replaced. Spinal surgery is sometimes performed for neck and lower spine arthritis. Although movement is limited after surgery, the operations relieve excruciating pain and help prevent further damage to nerves or blood vessels. Psychotherapeutic strategies focus on improving patient’s emotional and psychological well-being by teaching them how to release and conduct their daily activities at a realistic pace. In addition to treatments recommended by your doctor, you can use, heating pad, hot bath, hot-water bottle to get relief from pain and stiffness.


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