An inflammation in the joint is referred to as Arthritis. It is a combination of numerous rheumatic diseases causing pain in the joints, inflammation and less muscular movement. A fluid called Cartilage located between two bones protects the joints and helps in smooth motion. Arthritis affects this substance damaging the process of degeneration which results in painful joints. Most people over the age of 50 are found to be victims of this chronic disease for a long time or the rest of their lives.A proper medication might make arthritis patients more confident, helping them to perform their daily activities.
There are over 100 types of conditions associated with arthritis. A few types like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis are the most familiar ones. However rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis need proper understanding as they are commonly seen in aged people.
Rheumatoid arthritis: A serious condition that causes inflammation and is considered to be an autoimmune form of arthritis. Due to this disease, wrists, fingers, feet, ankles and knees are affected. In severe cases it might reduce life expectancy. The cause of this disease is not clear. However, the treatment for it might reduce inflammation and prevent the destruction of joints.
Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis generally occurs with age. Spine, hips, knees and feet are affected. A genetic factor might also lead to this disease.
Symptoms for arthritis include:
- Inflammation of the joints
- Painful or tender joints
- Stiffness in joints
- Loss of movement in the joints
- Joint deformity
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Extreme weakness
Some patients might experience fever, swelling in lymph nodes, loss in weight, tiredness and long term sickness.
Hereditary factors might contribute to this disease in most cases. However, old people are likely to develop painful joints resulting in arthritis. Obesity and weight in hips and knees might also cause arthritis as the joint is not in a position to support the weight. Injury in knee joints or fractures might also lead to joint damage. Workers working in construction might have the risk of developing arthritis. Septic joints, gout or any other infection in the joint might also cause arthritis. Abnormality in the metabolic system and hyperactive immune system might also be one of the reasons for joint pain. Improper dietary habits and postures can cause joint inflammation.
It is usually women who are more affected by arthritis rather than men.
The diagnosis for arthritis is based upon the nature of inflamed joints, blood samples and X-ray reports. The rheumatologist would carefully analyze the history of the patient, hereditary factors and examine the position of the deformed joints. In certain cases urine and joint fluid might be given as samples to test the disease more accurately. A quick diagnosis might prevent severity and disabilities of the joints. Proper guidance, therapies, rest and physical exercise, medications help in relieving pain in arthritis patients.
The treatment is often dependent on the type of arthritis experienced by the patient. Physical therapies might prove to be the best treatment for painful joints. Cold-pack application is also prescribed for most patients. Paraffin wax dips and medications to reduce inflammation in the joints seemed more helpful. In severe cases, surgical operations and joint injections might improve the functioning of the joints. Generally anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen and dicolfenac help in reducing inflammation. Corticosteroids injections can be given as a temporary relief for arthritis. Some patients might even be suggested to use equipments like braces, socks, calipers to reduce pain in the joints. Replacement surgery of joints relatively shows a high success rate in treating arthritis though it is quite expensive.
Nevertheless, early diagnosis of the disease and avoidance of joint injuries prevent this rheumatoid disease.
Home remedies :
A good diet, proper medications, exercise and other therapies might prove to be helpful in preventing arthritis. Vegetables and fruits which contain Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium are beneficial for arthritis patients. Regular exercise at home would reduce the risk of joint pains. Raw potato juice and ginger juice are helpful sources for arthritis pain relief. Application of garlic paste on the painful joint would be the best home remedy. However,Gugul, Haritaki, Dudarshan, Brahmi are the most effective medicines available in ayurveda. Aswagandha powder relieves joint pains. Warm water with one tablespoon of turmeric can also reduce joint pain.
Good health and good nutrition is observed to be the best preventive measures to avoid arthritis.