A Complete Guide to Arthritis

Arthritis definition

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

Inflammation in the joints is a sign of arthritis. A joint is where two bones meet in the body. Joints move the parts of the body that are joined by bones. The word “arthritis” actually means swelling in one or more joints.

In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children (see below).

Types of arthritis

The two most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis

If your joints hurt, you might have osteoarthritis. The pain could be mild and painful, or it could be so bad and crippling that it gets in the way of daily life.

Any joint can get osteoarthritis, but the hands, knees, and hips are where it happens most often.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, especially the soft tissue around the joints.

RA usually affects the smaller joints in the hands, fingers, and feet. It can also hurt the eyes, skin, blood, nerves, and organs inside the body, like the heart and lungs.

Other types of arthritis and related conditions

  • Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that people with psoriasis (a skin disease with red, scaly patches) get. People with psoriatic arthritis have problems with their skin and joints, which can cause pain, swelling, and spots on the skin.

Medications that lower inflammation, joint injections, and physical therapy may all be used to treat psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis not only hurts the joints but also makes the skin bad. So, it’s likely that the problem with sleeping will not go away. A study from 2019 found that 68% of people with psoriatic arthritis have very bad nights’ sleep.

Pain O Soma 500mg might help people with psoriatic arthritis because it keeps them from feeling arthritis pain.

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine the most. It makes the spine swell, which makes the back hurt and feel stiff.

Ankylosing spondylitis can make the vertebrae join together over time, which can lead to a hunched back. As part of treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, painkillers, physical therapy, and exercises that keep the spine flexible may be used.

  • Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints, causing sudden and severe pain, swelling, and redness.

Gout most commonly affects the big toe, but it can also occur in other joints such as the ankles, knees, and wrists. Treatment for gout may involve medications to reduce uric acid levels in the blood, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications.

  • Polymyalgia rheumatic

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a condition that causes muscle pain and stiffness, mainly in the shoulders, upper arms, neck, and hips. It can make everyday tasks like getting dressed or reaching for items challenging.

This condition often occurs in individuals over the age of 50 and can be quite debilitating. People with polymyalgia rheumatica may also experience symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pain and swelling.

Arthritis symptoms

The symptoms of arthritis differ according on whatever joint is affected. Many arthritic joints are painful and irritated. In most cases, the discomfort grows gradually over time, although it can occasionally appear suddenly.

There may be various symptoms, including:

Joint pain and stiffness, swelling around the joints, and restricted joint movement are all signs of arthritis. Different kinds of arthritis have different signs and symptoms.

Arthritis Causes

  • Self-defense sickness: As an example, RA happens when your immune system attacks healthy joint tissues by accident.
  • Normal wear and tear: Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage that cushions your joints and keeps your bones from rubbing against each other wears away over time or when you do the same motions over and over again.
  • Gout: a disease in which uric acid crystals build up in your joints and hurt.
  • Getting sick: Lyme sickness and sepsis are two examples.

Risk Factors

While some risk factors are out of your control, others might be changed, giving you the opportunity to lower your risk. Arthritis risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Having certain genetics
  • Getting one or multiple infections
  • Injuring a joint
  • Being a woman
  • Being overweight
  • Being an older adult
  • Physical inactivity

Arthritis Treatment

As of now, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments that can help ease your pain and difficulty. Usually, treatments that don’t involve surgery will be tried first, before surgery is decided to be required.

Some ways to treat arthritis without surgery are:

  • Pain relief:

Over-the-counter painkillers ease pain and swelling so you can move around more easily. Pain relief creams that you put on the skin can also help.

  • Exercise and weight loss:

Joints hurt when you carry extra weight. Walking, riding, swimming, or the Feldenkrais Method are all low-impact exercises that we might talk you through.

  • Physical therapy:

To lower the pressure on joints, physical treatment can make the muscles that support them stronger. You’ll also learn how to do everyday things in a way that hurts less.

Find out more about physical treatment for joints.

  • Steroid injections:

We might give you an injection of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs that also make it easier to move your joints. Read more about getting a shot to help with joint pain.

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