How Does Arthritis Feel
Arthritis usually causes stiffness pain and fatigue. The severity varies from person to person and even from day to day. In some people only a few joints are affected and the impact may be small. In other people the entire body system may be affected.
The joints of the body are the site of much of the action in arthritis. Many types of arthritis show signs of joint inflammation: swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness or warmth. These joint symptoms may be accompanied by weight loss, fever or weakness.
When these symptoms last for more than two weeks, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis may be the cause. Joint inflammation may also be caused by infection which can lead to septic arthritis. Degenerative joint disease is the most common type of arthritis joint inflammation is not a prominent feature of this condition. While normal joints can support a vast amount of use, mechanical abnormalities of a joint make it susceptible to degeneration.
It is healthy for you to keep active and move your joints. If you do not move a joint regularly, the muscles around it weaken and/or become tight. The joint can stiffen or even freeze. When you do try to move the joint and muscles hurt because they have been still for so long.
Arthritis can make it hard to do the movements you rely on every day for work or taking care of your family.
Risk Factors For Arthritis
Certain risk factors have been associated with arthritis. Some of these are modifiable while others are not.
Non-modifiable arthritis risk factors:
- Age: the risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.
- Sex: most types of arthritis are more common in females, and 60 percent of all people with arthritis are female. Gout is more common in males than females.
- Genetic factors: specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis , systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis.
Modifiable arthritis risk factors:
- Overweight and obesity: excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.
- Joint injuries: damage to a joint can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in that joint.
- Infection: many microbial agents can infect joints and trigger the development of various forms of arthritis.
- Occupation: certain occupations that involve repetitive knee bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
More than half of adults in the U.S. with arthritis report high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with heart disease, the most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis.
Around 1 in 5 of adults in the U.S. who have arthritis are smokers. Smoking is associated with chronic respiratory conditions, the second most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis.
The 100 Forms Of Arthritis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Adult onset Stills disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
- Hepatitis B surface antigen disease
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Mixed cryoglobulinemia
- Pachydermoperiostosis Pagets disease of bone
- Palindromic rheumatism
- Undifferentiated connective tissue syndrome
- Urticarial vasculitis
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World Arthritis Day: Arthritis Probably One Of Least Recognised Understood Areas Of Medicine
Also, painful joints are often seen as a normal part of ageing, discouraging timely diagnosis and treatment. Picture: Pexels / SAM LIN
Despite affecting approximately one-third of the global population, arthritis is probably one of the least recognised and understood areas of medicine.
There are many reasons for this. Arthritis, meaning inflammation of the joints, is caused by more than 100 different conditions many of them are still poorly defined and difficult to diagnose and differentiate from one another.
Also, painful joints are often seen as a normal part of ageing, discouraging timely diagnosis and treatment.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis has been around as long as human existence and has even been described as being present in dinosaurs. There are many different causes, such as trauma, infection, auto-immunity when the body attacks its own tissue as well as wear-and-tear.
The end result is damage to the cartilage, which protects the end surfaces of bones where they meet at the joints, leading to friction, pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joint.
Left untreated, the joint becomes less flexible and causes muscle strain, which impairs mobility.
There are six main types of arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis, often referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, which is caused by degeneration of the cartilage, most commonly at the hip and knee.
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How Many Different Arthritis Are There
There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Depending on the type, it can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities or go relatively unnoticed and be easily managed for years. Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints.
What are the three different forms of arthritis?
The Three Most Common Types of Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis the most common form of arthritis.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks parts of the bodyespecially the joints.
- Psoriatic Arthritis.
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What Are The Different Types Of Inflammatory Arthritis
The major types of inflammatory arthritis include:
When detected and treated in its early stages, the effects of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly diminished, or the condition may even disappear completely. The importance of proper diagnosis, particularly in the early stages of the disease, may prevent serious, lifelong arthritic complications.
The Early Arthritis Initiative of the connects patients quickly and efficiently with a rheumatologist who can evaluate their joint pain and get each patient started on an appropriate course of treatment. HSS also offers specialized patient for conditions such as and .
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How Is Osteoarthritis Treated
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. Mild to moderate symptoms are usually well managed by a combination of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. Medical treatments and recommendations include:
- Healthy eating, managing diabetes and cholesterol.
- Supportive devices such as braces, orthotics, shoe inserts, cane, or walker.
- Intra-articular injection therapies .
- Complementary and alternative medicine strategies, including vitamins and supplements.
Surgery may be helpful to relieve pain and restore function when other medical treatments are ineffective or have been exhausted, especially with advanced OA.
The goals of treatment are to:
- Improve mobility and function.
- Increase patients quality of life.
The type of treatment regimen prescribed depends on many factors, including the patients age, overall health, activities, occupation, and severity of the condition.
Although many of these medications are available in over-the-counter preparations, individuals with osteoarthritis should talk to a health care provider before taking the medications. Some medications may have dangerous or unwanted side effects and/or may interfere with other medications that are being taken. Some over the counter medications still require routine laboratory testing.
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Can Arthritis Cause Numbness
Numbness is often a symptom of nerve involvement. For instance, numbness in the arm may be related to nerve irritation in the neck. In such a situation, turning or bending the head to the involved side may increase the symptoms. For example, a pinched nerve in the right side of the neck may cause numbness in the arm and hand when a person attempts to look back over the right shoulder. If nerve irritation becomes more severe, the arm and hand may become weak. A physical examination X-rays and an MRI of the neck and electrodiagnostic tests may be useful in establishing the diagnosis.
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Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living with rheumatoid arthritis often means making changes to your lifestyle. You can do things at home, such as staying active and taking medicines, to help relieve your symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.
You can also plan for those times when the disease symptoms may be more severe. It is important to work closely with your health professionals, who may include a physiotherapist or counsellor, to find ways to reduce pain.
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How Common Is Osteoarthritis
Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. Australian studies show that about 1 in 10 women report having the condition, compared with about 1 in 16 men.
Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but it is more common in people aged over 40 years or in those who have previously injured a joint. One in 5 Australians over the age of 45, and one in 3 over 75 years have osteoarthritis.
What Are The Parts Of A Joint
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Arthritis
Yes. Arthritis can be prevented by following the preventive and safety measures along with the nutritious food. As we all know, there is no proper and permanent cure for arthritis. Therefore it is better to prevent arthritis before developing it. The preventive steps include:
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Two Main Categories Of Arthritis
Arthritis conditions fall into one of two categories: degenerative or inflammatory. Degenerative arthritis diseases cause damage to the area surrounding a jointcommonly referred to as the wear and tear variety. Inflammatory arthritis conditions involve the immune system they are autoimmune disorders. These disorders cause the body to mistakenly attack its own tissues, which cause issues or damage inside joints. A tell-tale sign of inflammatory arthritis is the presence of white blood cells in the joint fluid.
Despite its prevalence, arthritis isnt completely understood. It can begin unexpectedly, masquerade as other diseases, and defy treatment. Sometimes symptoms are clear and visible , but often the pain and discomfort wont show up on the surface of the body.
If you suspect arthritis is the source of your pain, stiffness, and inflammation, the first step is a concise and accurate diagnosis.
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Figure Four Glute Stretch
How To :
- Lie on your back and cross your left feet over your right quad, just above the knee, and bend your right knee.
- Hold the heel of your right leg and gently pull it towards your chest until you feel a good stretch on the leg. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch to your right leg and follow the first two procedures for a good stretch.
- The four-figure flute stretch is the best exercise for knee pain as it works the muscles responsible for rotating the hips that have an immense effect on the knees.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Their differences begin with what causes them. Osteoarthritis is more commonly occurs later in life, after years of mechanical wear and tear on the cartilage which lines and cushions your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, which can occur at most any age, is anautoimmune disease. That is, your body’s immune system attacks your joints.
Dr. Michael Raab explains the differences of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.
What is arthritis?
Here are other important things to know about the key differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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Will I Need Surgery For Arthritis
Healthcare providers usually only recommend surgery for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that havent improved with conservative treatments. Surgical options include:
- Fusion: Two or more bones are permanently fused together. Fusion immobilizes a joint and reduces pain caused by movement.
- Joint replacement: A damaged, arthritic joint gets replaced with an artificial joint. Joint replacement preserves joint function and movement. Examples include ankle replacement, hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.
Who Is Affected By Osteoarthritis
Approximately 80% of older adults, ages 55 years and older, have evidence of osteoarthritis on X-ray. Of these, an estimated 60% experience symptoms. It is estimated that 240 million adults worldwide have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including more than 30 million U.S. adults. Post-menopausal women have an increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to men.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Arthritis
Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body.
Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may find that it’s hard to do daily tasks you used to do easily, such as climbing stairs or opening a jar. Pain and stiffness may be more severe during certain times of the day or after you’ve done certain tasks.
Some types of arthritis cause swelling or inflammation. The skin over the joint may appear swollen and red and feel hot to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also cause fatigue.
Special Devices And Footwear
Walking sticks can help to reduce the load on your knees and reduce pain when moving about. Other ways to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis include taping the joint, wearing braces, or using shoe insoles that improve your body alignment when standing and walking. Check with your physiotherapist for advice about using aids or supports.
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What Can I Do To Make Living With Arthritis Easier
Changing your routine can make living with arthritis easier. Adjust your activities to lessen joint pain. It may help to work with an occupational therapist . An OT is a healthcare provider who specializes in managing physical challenges like arthritis.
An OT may recommend:
- Adaptive equipment, such as grips for opening jars.
- Techniques for doing hobbies, sports or other activities safely.
- Tips for reducing joint pain during arthritic flare-ups.
Arthritis Prevalence In The Us
Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the most common cause of disability among U.S. adults and have been for the past 15 years.
- Nearly 50% of people may develop symptomatic knee OA by age 85 years.
- An estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.
- 26.0% of women and 19.1% men report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
- An estimated 27 million adults had osteoarthritis in 2005.
- An estimated 5.0 million adults had fibromyalgia in 2005.
- An estimated 1.5 million adults had rheumatoid arthritis in 2007.
- In 2004, there were 454,652 total knee replacements performed, primarily for arthritis.
- An estimated 3.0 million adults had gout in 2005, and 6.1 million adults have ever had gout.
- An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition.
- In 2004, there were 232,857 total hip replacements, 41,934 shoulder, and 12,055 other joint replacements, primarily for arthritis.
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What Are Common Arthritis Treatments
There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your care may involve more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier.
Finding the right treatment takes time. It can involve trial and error until you and your healthcare team or therapist find what works best. Be sure to let your doctor know if a treatment is not working. Your treatment may also change as your arthritis changes.
Treatments for arthritis can be divided into several categories: medication, exercise, heat/cold, pacing, joint protection, surgery and self-help skills. You can do things in each of these areas to help yourself feel better and move easier.
How Many Types Of Arthritis Are There
While there is a significant amount of publicity given to a number of arthritic conditions, there are actually more than 100 different types of arthritis, each with their own symptoms and debilitating effects. Most people have heard of at least one of these medical conditions, and sadly many people experience their impact on a daily basis.
The most common types are discussed in more detail below, but you will want to go to several reliable health and medical websites to find out if your particular set of symptoms falls under one of the 100 less attention getting variations. If you have any doubts, seek professional medical advice.
Osteoarthritis is generally associated with getting older, and the cause is simply the fact that your physical body is wearing down. But it is also found in younger people who are obese for a period of time or who have had joint injuries as a result of playing sports or other bone stressing activities. The good news is that because it takes weeks, months, or even years to develop you can avoid many of the potential problems by recognizing the symptoms early. The bad news is that many people, because of the slow onset of the condition, simply ignore the symptoms until they have reached the point of no return. Though this is one of the most common types, it is also one of the few types of arthritis that doesnt cause you to be fatigued.
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