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Arthiritis is the most common joint disease that causes joint pain, loss of function and disability. In India, Osteoarthiritis affects about 22 to 39% of the Indian population . The majority of patients in this regard are women; however the chances of people getting affected by this disease increases with age. It is also one of the major reasons of mobility impairment in the older population .
However, with the advancement of medicine and the development of treatment procedures, doctors are able to reduce its ill effects and enable individuals to lead normal lives.
|Symptoms||Pain, stiffness, swelling and reddening of joints, reduced motility, etc.|
|Complications||Osteoporosis, rheumatoid nodules, abnormal body composition, etc.|
|Causes||Autoimmune disorders, wear and tear of body joints, etc.|
|Onset||Sudden or gradually over time|
|Diagnosis||Patient’s medical history, physical tests, X-rays and blood tests|
|Prevention||Maintaining a healthy weight, blood sugar control, exercising, avoiding injury, etc.|
|Medication||Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Counterirritants, Steroids, Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)|
Here’s a detailed overview of arthritis – its symptoms, types, diagnosis, treatment and complications. Read on!
Arthritis symptoms may vary with its type. For example, people suffering from Osteoarthritis will face different symptoms as compared to ones who are suffering from Gout.
Individuals suffering from Osteoarthritis will experience the following symptoms:
In case an individual is suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms are:
For some people, joint pain, stiffness, swelling and other symptoms may come or go. For others, the symptoms may be constant. Symptoms can also range from mild or severe in people with arthritis.
When an individual suffers from Osteoarthritis, the general causes are:
Moreover, the specific causes of Rheumatoid arthritis are:
The Medical community recognises over 100 kinds of arthritis. They all have different causes for affecting the human body, and their symptoms and treatments differ as well. However, medical treatment from a physician adept at treating this disease and maintaining a healthy lifestyle always helps in keeping the symptoms of this disease in control.
Below you will find some of the most common types of arthritis that affect people around the world:
Also known as “wear and tear arthritis”, it is a condition that develops when the cartilage between bones starts to disintegrate due to repeated stress. As the situation advances, it results in changes in the bone. Furthermore, it degenerates the joint’s connective tissues and also affects its overall functioning.
This is the most common form of arthritis that affects people around the world. The risks of this particular disorder increase with age, obesity, joint injuries, genetic problems and certain metabolic diseases. In addition, it is more prevalent among women.
This type of arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder in which an individual’s immune system attacks the body tissues. Apart from joints, this disorder affects the blood vessels, heart, lungs, eyes and skin.
When considering joints, this disorder disintegrates the synovial membrane of an individual’s joints leading to severe swelling. Additionally, this can also lead to joint deformity and bone erosion.
Medical science has developed several treatment options to combat this disease; however, a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis can leave a person physically handicapped.
Gout is another form of arthritis that can cause problems in multiple joints across the body. The effects of this disorder are seen especially in the big toe, and its symptoms include swelling, pain, tenderness and redness.
It occurs either when a person’s body produces too much uric acid, or his/her kidneys excrete too little of it, causing a build-up. Thus, urate crystals accumulate in joints causing inflammation and swelling.
Proper treatment of gout is necessary in order to prevent complications like recurrent gout, advanced gout and even kidney stones.
Juvenile arthritis affects 1 out of 1,000 children in the United States of America. It occurs as a result of a disorder that makes the body’s immune system attack the synovial joint linings and fluid in joints. As a result, the synovium produces more fluid leading to swelling, stiffness and pain.
With the advancement of this condition, this damage can spread to nearby tissues, thus damaging bone and cartilage. In addition, this disorder can affect children’s eyes, as well as their normal growth and development. 
If you are experiencing mild joint pain, it is easily treatable at home. However, you should consider visiting a doctor for an arthritis check-up in case of the following circumstances:
Additionally, if you sustain an injury and are experiencing the following symptoms, you should consider visiting a physician immediately:
Consult a doctor in case joint symptoms last for three days or more and if you have had many instances of joint pain within a month.
If you plan on visiting a doctor to diagnose the cause behind your joint pains, the first step would always be a physical examination. During the physical examination, the physician will inspect your joints for swelling and redness. He/she will also inspect how well you are able to move your joints.
Here are some of the arthritis diagnosis tests that your doctor may suggest once you go for treatment:
In the lab tests, different body fluids are analysed to determine which type of arthritis you may be suffering from. Generally, blood, joint fluid and urine are tested at the laboratory to determine the same.
Your doctor may take the help of X-rays to determine bone damage, cartilage loss and bone spurs. This method is unable to detect arthritis at its early stages; however, it comes in handy in tracking its progression.
In certain situations, the physician may also ask you to opt for a Computerised Tomography (CT) scan. It helps take X-rays from various angles, thereby creating cross-sectional structures of the patient’s internal structures. CT scans can help visualise both the bone and its surrounding soft tissues.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging combines radio waves with strong magnetic fields to produce cross-sectional views of the human body in great detail. Doctors use it to view cartilage, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues.
Ultrasounds are used by doctors for needle placement guidance when extracting joint fluid or injecting medicines. It makes use of high-frequency sound waves for imaging cartilages, soft tissues, fluid-containing structures near joints, etc.
There is no permanent cure for arthritis. Therefore, people suffering from it have to manage its symptoms for the rest of their lives. However, the correct treatment can ease their burdens.
Most importantly, patients must avoid becoming sedentary due to arthritis. Inactivity can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
To promote activities, doctors generally recommend adaptive equipment and modified activities for safely taking part in sports, hobbies and other activities. Moreover, they also provide tips on reducing joint pain during flare-ups. 
Arthritis treatment primarily focuses on improving joint function and relieving symptoms. Thus, there may be a lot of trial and error before you find the right combination that suits you best. Doctors generally use medicine, therapy or surgery to treat their patients.
Therapies can work for certain variants of arthritis. These include specific exercises that help strengthen muscles around the joint and also improve the range of motion. However, under certain circumstances, the doctor may also prescribe the use of braces or splints.
The arthritis medication that is generally prescribed by physicians are as follows:
Sometimes, doctors may also recommend surgical procedures like:
There is no definite way to prevent arthritis. There are multiple types that affect humans worldwide, and each has its own cause.
In case you are diagnosed with it, you can opt for measures to reduce its symptoms that may assist you in leading a normal life. Many people use acupuncture, fish oil, yoga, tai chi, massage, etc., as an alternate form of medicine to reduce pain and increase their range of motility.
Here are some remedies that you can use for controlling arthritis symptoms:
Different forms of arthritis may affect patients in various ways. However, in severe conditions, especially when it involves hands and arms, it can make performing daily tasks really difficult.
If this disease affects people’s weight-bearing joints, it can hinder their ability to sit up straight and even walk comfortably. In some extreme cases, their joints may gradually become misaligned and even lose their shape.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that becomes increasingly worse over time. Its complications are as follows:
Some complications of Rheumatoid arthritis are:
Thus, if you get diagnosed with arthritis, opting for medical treatment before it’s too late is a must.
The cost of arthritis treatment in India will depend on its type and severity. Generally, Osteoarthritis treatment costs can range from ₹500 to 1,500 per month, whereas rheumatoid arthritis treatment can start from ₹1,000 per month. However, surgery expenses can go up to ₹4,00,000.
Arthritis is a disease that can affect the old as well as young. It has over 100 different types and, if not treated properly, the diseases can be life altering. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms, it is crucial that you contact a physician for a checkup.
As you already know how high the expenses can shoot up in case of severe arthritis cases, having a backup is necessary. In this regard, the smartest move you can make is purchasing a health insurance policy.
For hassle-free claim settlement and cashless treatment across 10,000+ hospitals all over India, you can choose Navi Health Insurance. The starting premium amount is just ₹234 per month. Affordable health insurance is now a reality!
Yes, people can live a normal life with arthritis. Even individuals who have Rheumatoid arthritis can live normally with the help of Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). This type of medication suppresses their immune system, thereby reducing the damage it can cause to the joint tissues.
In case of Osteoarthritis, it can take a significant number of years for this disorder to reach a severe stage. However, there have been instances in which the patient’s cartilage got completely destroyed in the span of a few months
When an individual is suffering from Osteoarthritis, things like overactivity, trauma to the affected joint, stress, and any kind of repetitive motions can cause a trigger. Furthermore, bone spurs, cold weather, infections, etc., can also cause issues.
Red meat, highly processed foods, fried food and foods which have high levels of added sugar should be avoided by arthritis patients. They must also avoid tobacco, alcohol, dairy, eating too many sweets, fat-rich foods, etc. Doing so will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep arthritis symptoms in control.
Hot and humid weather in summer can worsen joint pains. The higher the outside temperature, the more the body will be susceptible to swelling and increased pain. Many researchers also claim that changing barometric pressure round the year can also have a significant effect.
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