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Arthritis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis, the medical term is the inflammation of the joints (either one or more). Additionally, the key symptoms of the condition are joint stiffness and pain that tend to worsen gradually. Two most common kinds of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
• Osteoarthritis causes your cartilage (slippery, hard tissue covering your bones ends) to break down.
• Rheumatoid arthritis- the immune disorder which initially targets your joints lining. (synovium)
Infections, uric acid crystals or some underlying disease for example lupus or psoriasis can cause few other kinds of arthritis. The treatments differ depending upon what kind of arthritis you are suffering from. However the main purpose of the treatment is to improve the life quality through reducing symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

Few common symptoms of the condition involve your joints. Moreover, depending upon your arthritis type, the symptoms can include:
• Stiffness.
• Pain.
• Swelling.
• Decreased motion range.
• Redness.

What are the Causes of Arthritis?

The connective tissue, cartilage is a very flexible tissue in the joints which absorbs the shock and pressure created from the movement such as walking and running. Cartilage allows smooth movement whilst protects your joints. Few arthritis forms are caused due to the lessening in the needed cartilage tissue amount.

In addition to this, osteoarthritis, a most common arthritis form, is caused due to the usual wear and tear during the life. Hence, this natural cartilage tissue breakdown can ne worsen by an injury or infection to your joints. A person is more probable to develop osteoarthritis, in case he has the family history of this disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis, another common arthritis form, occurs when the immune system of the body attacks the body tissues. Such attack tends to affect synovium that produces a fluid which lubricates your joints and nourishes cartilage. Additionally, rheumatoid arthritis tends to eventually cause destruction to your joint cartilage and bone. What causes your immune system to attack is a question yet need an exact answer, however according to the scientists; genetic markers increase the risk to develop this form of arthritis.

What are the risk factors?

Risk factors are:
• Increasing age.
• Family history.
• If you are a woman.
• Previous joint injury.

What are the complications?

Daily tasks may get difficult to perform in case of severe arthritis, especially if your arms or hands are affected. Moreover, weight-bearing arthritis, can keep the individual from sitting straight or walking comfortable. In few cases, the joints can become deformed and twisted.

How is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Between your physical exam, the doctor will carefully check the joints for redness, swelling and warmth. The doctor would like to see your joint movements. Depending on what kind of arthritis he suspected, he may suggest you few of the below mentioned tests-
• Laboratory tests.
• Imaging (x-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound)
• Arthroscopy.

How is Arthritis Treated?

The treatment solely focuses to relieve your symptoms whilst to improve your joint function. The doctor would work various treatments or their combinations before determining which one works good in your case.
• Medications (NSAIDs, analgesics, counterirritants, DMARDs, biologics, corticosteroids)
• Physical therapy.
• Surgery (joint replacement, joint fusion).


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By : Natural Health News

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