Have you ever heard of ‘arthritis?’
The term describes pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints.
It is a common condition and a chronic disease with different types.
Did you know that it affects over 20million people all over the world every single year?
There is a common misconception that it affects people of old age but it is also common in children and teenagers.
We will look into this and other interesting facts about arthritis in this blog.
What is Arthritis?
It is a joint disorder causing pain and inflammation. Before anything else, let’s talk about “What is a joint?”
Joints are the area of the body where two different bones are meeting. For your movement it is important the joint functions properly.
Arthritis’s main property is inflammation. It affects one or multiple joints and involves considerable wear and tear.
Did you know there are more than 100 types of arthritis that trigger joint pain.
The Different and Common Types of Arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Thumb arthritis
Here are the most common symptoms of arthritis. These include:
- Severe or mild pain
- Swelling of different areas
- A dent in range of motion
- High tenderness
- Joint warmth
- Joint Locking
- Feeling weakness
Let’s talk about the various risk factors associating to this condition:
Risk Factors of Arthritis :
- Heredity: The most common type of risk factor is if you have cases in the family where this condition was existing, you are likely to develop it too. Your genes are most susceptible and the disorder is inherited.
- Age: As your age increases, there are some types of arthritis which you are more likely to develop. This includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
- Gender: Your sex matters too. According to studies, women are more likely to develop this condition as compared to men. Especially rheumatoid arthritis.
- Joint injuries: If you have had any injuries and the injury isn’t healing properly, you will most likely develop this condition.
- Health concerns: If you are carrying extra pounds, chances are you will develop arthritis. This is because you are carrying that extra weight and inflammation can happen at the knees, hips and the spine.
Diagnosis of Arthritis:
How this procedure is done is, your doctor will check if there is any swelling or redness. How you move your joints is also looked into.
Since you already know that there are different types of arthritis , some of the following tests are done:
This test means different body fluids are analyzed to see which kind of arthritis you have. Fluids which are analyzed are blood, urine and joints fluid.
How a sample is taken is a needle is taken in which then withdraws some of the fluid.
This is a process through which some major tests help to determine the causes of your symptoms:
- X-rays- low levels of radiation help to visualize bones X-rays can show cartilage loss, bone damage and bone spurs.
- Computerized tomography (CT)- CT scanners take X-rays from many different angles and combine the information to create cross-sectional views of internal structures. These are helpful to visualize both bone and the surrounding soft tissues.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- This means you combine radio waves with a strong magnetic field. They produce images of cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
- Ultrasound- This type of technology is widely used. It is when high-frequency sound waves are used to send images of soft tissues, like cartilage. It also comes useful when you need to make a proper needle placement for joint aspirations.
While there exist conditions which require immediate medical assistance and attention, you can manage arthritis well by adapting certain lifestyle techniques.
Dr.Amal Al Qedrah’s medical and expert team provides you some lifestyle hacks which will aid in keeping your chances of developing arthritis at bay. Let’s look into these:
Incredible Life Hacks to Adapt:
- Aim to keep your weight at optimum level
- Adapt exercise techniques which will keep you healthy
- Breathing exercises and yoga adds to a healthy outlook
- Eat a healthy diet
- Make sure your diet has plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Having an antioxidant-enriched diet is also useful
- Herbal drinks give an added boost to keep your joints in optimal condition
- Fish and nuts are also inflammation-reducing foods
- Aim for stress-releasing habits
- Remove yourself from toxic environments
- Avoid high consumption of fried foods, processed foods and dairy products
Check out these simple head-tilting tactics which also work:
- Finger Bending
- Thumb Bending
- Leg raising
- Hamstring stretching
- Knee Bending
We will now look into the various natural treatments that you can make use of:
You need to aim for a healthy, balanced diet. Therefore, take in appropriate exercise, avoid smoking, and don’t drink excess alcohol.
Managing your condition from it’s early onset form these simple tips will allow you to stay safe from further problems and complications.
Let’s dive into what these tactics are:
There is no specific diet that treats arthritis. However some types of food help to reduce inflammation.
The following foods, found in a Mediterranean diet, are an excellent source:
- nuts and seeds
- fruits and vegetables
- olive oil
- whole grains
Similarly, there are some kinds of foods you should also avoid:
Foods to avoid
Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, contain a chemical called solanine.
Solanine is a chemical which causes arthritis pain. That is to say it is a source of inflammation. It comes in nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, for instance. Also be wary of food items causing constipation. This too can trigger towards this certain condition.
A Look into Physical Therapy
This is one of the major ways in which you can overcome challenges and reduce limitations on mobility because of arthritis.
Some of the common ways which really help:
- Warm Water Therapy: these are exercises in a warm-water pool. The water supports weight and puts less pressure on the muscles and joints, consequently.
- Physical Therapy: specific exercises as per your individual needs. In addition pain-relieving treatments such as ice or hot packs are also used.
- Occupational therapy: your doctor will give you practical advice on ways to manage tasks, choose specialized aids and equipment, which will protect the joints from further damage.
Let’s now take on the last topic we will be covering in this blog post- the treatment for this condition.
The treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving your joint function.
Sometimes you need to try different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you can decide on what works best for you. Check out the different treatment options:
Some of the most common medications you can adapt are:
- Painkillers-these help to reduce the pain. However, they don’t have any immediate effect on inflammation. Example-tylenol.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- these are effective to reduce the pain and tone down the inflammation. However, they are prescription available.
- Counterirritants– did you know some creams and ointments contain an ingredient which when rubbed on your skin helps in pain relief.
- Biologic response modifiers- these are genetically engineered drugs which focus on various protein molecules involved in immune response.
- Corticosteroids- this drug reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system.
Sometimes any kind of conservative measures you take up won’t help. In that case, your doctor can suggest surgery for you.
In this, you will have one of the following done:
- Joint repairment- in this process, your joint surface is smoothed and realigned. As a result, the pain becomes less and function gets better.
- Joint replacement- your doctor will remove the damaged joint and replaces it with artificial one.
- Joint fusion- it is most useful for the smaller joints. For example joints of your wrists and fingers and ankles.
Keeping your health optimal and in its prime is the key. Inflammatory arthritis is a common condition which can become very painful to bear.
If you have a good understanding of your condition, it will help you to analyze your treatment options and which lifestyle remedies are useful.
And yet in some cases you need to seek medical attention right away if you are struggling with any aspects of managing your arthritis, or notice new symptoms.
While it’s hard to say how arthritis affects your life and how you manage your daily tasks, it is always good to know beforehand about the condition and your specific symptoms.
While some types of arthritis symptoms can come and go, many have long-term effects including mobility problems.
Become self-aware and adapt a lifestyle that works and allows you to remain positive and proactive.
Fortunately, current treatments allow most people with arthritis to lead active and productive lives. There are many optimal treatment programs for many form of arthritis. Since this field continues to evolve, there are many new improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.
Stay tuned to Dr.Amal Al-Qedrah, your leading source of providing state-of-the art updates on medical conditions and procedures. We as a family clinic, provide you with all the information needed to keep your family healthy and happy. If you have any inquiries, reach out to us in the comments section.
We are always here to help you !