The fundamental meaning of arthritis is inflammation in the joints. But the medical term can describe almost 200 health conditions that affect the joints of your body. It is a common disorder that causes excruciating pain and inflammation. If you are suffering from the condition, it must be difficult for you to move around or stay active for a prolonged period. 

The symptoms of arthritis develop over time, but they may appear suddenly too. It is one of the most commonly seen conditions in older adults, especially in the age group above 65. But it can also develop at an early stage in children, teenagers, and younger adults. Surprisingly, the condition is more common in women than men and also in people who are overweight.

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The symptoms of arthritis develop over time, but they may appear suddenly too. It is one of the most commonly seen conditions in older adults, especially in the age group above 65.

Primary Symptoms of Arthritis:

When you suddenly notice a decrease in the range of motion of your joints, you have to be very cautious. It can be an early symptom of the onset of arthritis. Some of the common symptoms of the medical condition are:

  • Extreme pain in the joints all the time. 
  • Feeling of stiffness that continues to grow instead of diminishing. In severe cases, you may develop inability to move the joints at all after a few years. 
  • Swelling of the joints is common. The friction of bones at the joints mostly causes swelling.
  • Redness of the skin around the joints is common in patients. 
  • The range of motion will decrease gradually.

It is essential to receive accurate medical treatment as soon as you find difficulty moving the joints, especially the knee joints or the shoulder joints. 

Chief Causes of Arthritis:

To understand the underlying causes of arthritis, you need to know about cartilage. It is a flexible but firm connective tissue present at the joints, connecting bones to the muscles. The chief function of cartilage is to absorb the pressure and shock generated at the joints as you move and exert stress on these joints. A significant reduction in the standard amount of cartilage will cause some form of arthritis

There are two common types of arthritis. Here, there are details of the causes of each type.

  • Osteoarthritis

This is perhaps the most commonly reported problem that causes wear and tear to the joint’s cartilage. The membrane acts as a cushion at the ends of the bones to allow frictionless motion. But damages or injuries can result in the grinding of the bones, causing tremendous pain and much limitations in the movement. It may take years to cause such a condition, or it can arise early due to injuries and infection. 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

This is a painful condition where your immune system turns against you. The immunological cells attack the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane enclosing all the parts of a joint. The synovial membrane or this lining will show inflammation and swelling. The disease can eventually destroy the bones and cartilage within the joint.

When is the Right Time to See the Physiotherapist

You should know about the symptoms well, for, at the very onset of any symptom, you should rush to the primary physician and subsequently to the orthopedic. Diagnosis is the initial requirement, and it is vital to know which type of arthritis you have. Sometimes, when you have severe symptoms, the physician can directly recommend a rheumatologist. It will lead to a faster diagnosis. 

Risk Factors: 

The serious problem of the joints can lead to complications. So you should be aware of whether you are in the high-risk zone for having the symptoms.

  • Family history: If some type of arthritis runs in the family, you are more prone to develop the same symptoms. The risk is higher when your parents or siblings have the problems too. The genetic structure of your body makes you more susceptible to all factors that can trigger the disease.
  • Obesity: if your body weight is higher than what the limb joints can easily carry, it will exert undue pressure on the joints, leading to extreme stress at the joints. The stress will be higher at the knees, spine, and hips. So if you are obese, you have a higher risk. 
  • Age: Older adults develop the symptoms more than younger ones. 
  • Sex: Rheumatoid arthritis is quite common in women, while gout is common in men. 
  • Existing injuries: injuries at an early age can easily trigger the condition if the joints and the connective tissue do not heal or regenerate. 

How to Prevent Arthritis:

As there is no cure for the disease, you should try to prevent it. The best ways to prevent arthritis include:

  1. Healthy lifestyle
  2. Regular exercise
  3. No smoking
  4. Ensure complete recovery from injuries
  5. Control body weight.

Effective treatments: 

Treatments can only help to minimize the symptoms and provide some relief from the pain. Conservative treatments include:

  • Regular medication for controlling inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapy as rehabilitation can improve overall mobility and prevent further deterioration of the joints. 
  • Therapeutic injections of cortisone shots can provide temporary relief.

Related Conditions: 

Mental anxiety and depression are common in patients as arthritis can completely restrict the locomotory power of a person. Obesity can result from the condition if it is not already the cause of the issue. To remain strong, active and healthy, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle and add nutritious foods to your diet. Deficiency of Vitamin D is also a related condition, more common in women.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will surgery help?
Healthcare providers recommend surgery only when your condition has no improvement with conservative treatments. The common conditions for surgery include fusion of bones or joint replacement.
2. How can physiotherapy help to curb symptoms of arthritis?
Physical therapy involves exercises under the monitoring of the trained experts to strengthen the muscles around affected joints. It will help to stop further degeneration of the joints.
3. What are the possible complications?
Severe arthritis can cause deformation of limbs and complete loss of mobility of certain joints.

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