Are you suffering from tender, aching joints? Do these pains come at a particular time of the day then disappear for a while? Do you suspect that arthritis could be the underlying cause of the joint pains? As a disease, arthritis is more complicated than most people put it. It comes in different forms and affects people differently. However, stiffness and intimation of the joints are the main symptoms of arthritis, and it can affect multiple joints in your body. Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are the most prevalent types of arthritis affecting people. So how do you differentiate between the two?
According to medical research, this is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis involves wear and tear damage to the end of the bones where the joint is located. Severe damage occurs when the bones start grinding, which causes extreme pain and hampers free movement. The wear and tear are gradual and spread over some years, or it can be hastened by a joint trauma or infection.
The rare type of rheumatoid arthritis that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the tissue that encloses all the joint bone ends also known as the joint capsule. The lining, scientifically referred to as the synovial membrane becomes swollen, infected and painful. As the disease progresses, it can destroy bone and cartilage within the joint.
What are the symptoms associated with arthritis?
The two type of arthritis discussed above share some common symptoms. They include:
- Inflammation or pain in the affected joints
- Weight loss
- Stiffness in the joints
- Night sweats, fevers, and skin rashes
- Visible swelling
- Unexplained fatigue
- Limited range of motion (joint becomes almost immobile)
What are the risk factors?
Age: arthritis becomes more prevalent with age. Most people affected with arthritis are past their 40’s.
Genetics: if your family has a history of having arthritis, chances are high you might be next on the list. Your genes could make you vulnerable to triggering the arthritis disease.
Recent or previous joint trauma: people who have injured a joint while hiking or playing are more likely to develop arthritis on the affected joint.
Gender: according to medical studies, women and more likely to develop arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis in particular. The male sex, on the other hand, is more likely to develop gout and osteoarthritis.
Obesity: carrying pounds too heavy for your legs to stand, stresses the joints particularly the knees, spine, and hips. This aspect makes obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Arthritis treatment is mostly about controlling the pain, improving joint mobility, and minimizing joint damage eventually maintaining the quality of life. Arthritis treatment includes physical therapy, medications, joint assistive help, weight loss methods, and surgery. All these treatments will help minimize the complications that come with arthritis. Patients are advised to stay physically active as it maintains a healthy weight and joint mobility. Patients are also required to visit their doctors regularly for professional monitoring of the disease. On the bright side, arthritis is containable with the right practices.