Everything To Know About Arthritis

One of the most frequently used words associated with aging individuals is arthritis. It makes day-to-day living a bit more painful because it targets the joints: simple moves are either painful or impossible. But what, exactly, is arthritis? It’s not a disease; it’s a broader term used to refer to joint pain and joint disorder.  People of all ages, sexes, and races can become arthritic. Arthritis causes pain and makes it tough to do everyday stuff. Learning about it helps you find ways to feel better. In this blog, we’ll talk about arthritis, its kinds, signs to watch for, and how it changes lives.

What Is Arthritis?

Suppose the entire body is a well-oiled machine, and the joints are like the components placed in it, which allow movement. Now, just think if these components get worn and torn or even damaged. This is what takes place during arthritis. Your joints, which are meant to make you move smoothly, start paining and swelling, making movement increasingly hard and often painful.  When this condition gets out of hand, arthritis can make it hard to play sports and do the things you love, like gardening or even simple things like opening a jar or walking up the stairs.

Types of Arthritis

No two cases of arthritis are the same. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are dozens more sub-types, each with its own causes and symptoms.
  • Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis is like wear and tear from an old pair of sneakers that one likes to wear; it’s something that occurs with many years of use. Cartilage, the cushion at the end of the bones, has abrasion with time because of the wearing away of its surface, leading to pain and rigidity. It is more common as you become older, yet it can be a result of having suffered joint injuries or being obese, which implies that extra stress is placed on your joints.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is more of a case of mistaken identity: your defense system, which actually fights diseases, turns on your joints. This develops into pain and swelling, and, in the worst case, it may trigger problems such as damage to the joints and other complications in the whole body. It is an autoimmune disease, more often common among women than men.
  • Other Types: The other numerous types of arthritis that exist include inflammatory conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis. Each type of arthritis brings up some different causes and can attack anyone at any age, even children.

The Most Common Symptoms of Arthritis 

The symptoms vary, depending on the type of arthritis, but still, some symptoms are common across the board. Pain is the most common symptom: your joints may be painful or sore after movement. You may also feel inflammation, such as swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint area. Stiffness is also very common, especially in the morning when rising from bed or from long periods of sitting. Some other types of arthritis can also lead to more general signs, like feeling tired all the time or losing weight without trying. Such signs are not to be ignored since early diagnosis and intervention make a big difference in the management of arthritis. If you have been feeling any of those signals, then maybe visiting the best hospital in Vadodara or elsewhere in India would be a good move. They will be able to establish the nature of the problem and offer the best ways that you should handle the symptoms.

Causes and Risk Factors of Arthritis

If you think of all the reasons a person might develop arthritis, it’s a bit like putting a puzzle together: there are lots of pieces, and not everybody has the same pattern. While scientists do not have all the answers, they know that certain factors can place you on more solid ground in preventing arthritis.
  • Age: Just like a car that plies on the road over time might give way to some wear and tear, your joints begin to weaken with age. Age surely is one of the big factors for arthritis, especially for osteoarthritis.
  • Gender: It has been found that women are more susceptible to developing certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, compared to men. This serves as a reminder of the fact that our bodies work in much more complicated ways, and we are yet to learn even more things about them.
  • Family History: If your parents or siblings have it, you’re more likely to get arthritis, too. 
  • Joint Injury: If you have ever had joint injuries from physical activities or other forms of accidents that predispose the joint to increased susceptibility to becoming arthritic in the future. It is as though it makes a mark in your joint by doing so and increases the vulnerability of the joint.
  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight puts a greater amount of stress on your joints—especially those of your knees, hips, and spine. It can be likened to having to carry an overlarge, heavy backpack every day—it would gradually wear you down. That is exactly what extra weight does to your joints. Obese individuals have a greater incidence of arthritis of the knees.

Managing Arthritis

Living with arthritis sounds like such a difficult thing, but actually, you can manage the pain to keep yourself and your life moving. Think of it as taking care of a garden. With the right tools and care, you can still have beautiful flowers and plants, even if the soil isn’t perfect.
  • Medications: There are drugs that can offer relief from discomfort and inflammation. Some are pill preparations meant to be ingested with water, and others are ointments meant for application to the skin. It is essential to use them just as the doctor orders, like following a recipe to make nice food.
  • Physical therapy: A professional coach teaches you special exercises that make the joints of your body even stronger and more flexible. It helps one to move around smoothly and feel great.
  • Healthy Lifestyle:  Eating healthy foods and staying active are important. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and fish can help your body fight inflammation. Gentle exercises, like walking or swimming, are good for your joints and won’t make them hurt more.
  • Assistive devices: Sometimes, various devices or aids can enable you to do those common things that otherwise become difficult without burdening your joints, such as walking sticks, a range of special devices to help with kitchen tasks and shower bars. 

Conclusion

In summary, arthritis could be part of life but does not have to define life. By understanding what arthritis is, knowing the symptoms, and learning how to manage it, you can continue to live a happy and active life. Remember, the best thing you can do is to get diagnosed early and start taking steps to take care of your joints. With the right approach and the right orthopedic hospital, you can manage your arthritis and keep doing the things you love.
Written by Parul Sevashram Hospital | 25 March 2024