What is arthritis?
Commonly arthritis is referred to as pain in joints in layman’s language. Arthritis is the swelling and painful condition of the joints along with degenerative changes in the joints. The common sites involved are knee joint, joints of fingers, wrist and feet. There are a few clinical conditions related with arthritis are osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and septic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of cartilages, degenerative process of joints and normal repair work .Usually patient of osteoarthritis complains of pain in the affected joint associated with stiffness and some amount of limitation of movement.
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis presents with complaints like pain in the joints along with stiffness especially in the mornings and goes by itself after some time.
Difficulty in the movements of affected joints.
Abnormal changes in the shape and size of the affected joint and surrounding tissues.
Presence of click like sound on movement.
Gout: Gout is a disorder involving pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints due to deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints. The serum uric acid level increases in gout. Classically the pain involves area around toes and feet.
Diagnosis is confirmed by aspiration of synovial fluid and examination of urate crystals and serum uric acid levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder involving a long standing swelling, pain, tenderness in the joints. It is an autoimmune disorder (when our body turns against itself).
How can I know I have arthritis?
Signs of degenerative changes in the X-ray of affected joint, rheumatoid factor, synovial fluid examination and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (E.S.R) are some laboratory procedures done to make a diagnosis of arthritis.
What causes arthritis?
Arthritis is caused by degenerative process in the joints with decrease in the production of synovial fluids.
How can I live a better life after arthritis?
Tips to live a better life for arthritis:
Weight management is the mainstay of the therapy for arthritis for overweight patient. Weight reduction can work wonders.
Walking for an appropriate time according to the strength of your body.
Healthy diet free of fat and rich in nutrients. Use of milk, other dairy products and fish is good in arthritis.
Use of walking stick for elder patients with knee pain due to arthritis.
Avoid climbing stairs, sitting on floor as far as possible.
Use of commode instead of Indian style latrine.
Use of various supports for joints like knee brace for knee.
Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affecting joint. Exercise for arthritis should always be done under the supervision of an expert.
Use of good quality calcium and other mineral supplements.
Control of other diseases, if present along with arthritis.
Stop alcohol and smoking completely.
Is there any effective Treatment for arthritis?
There is not any specific treatment of arthritis in modern medicine. There is only symptomatic treatment available in modern medicine. The chief principle of treatment includes pain killers, weight management, calcium based supplements and other expensive drugs whose effectiveness is yet to be proven.
Alternative therapies: Although some other alternative therapies claim to have a proper treatment for arthritis. Treatments from Ancient Ayurveda and chiropractic therapy have shown great and bright results over the years. Patients who are not satisfied with modern allopathic treatment and looking for alternative treatment for arthritis can find better relief from therapies like chiropractics which is famous for treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. A lot of people are turning to therapies like chiropractics these days as they offer a vast knowledge and treatment options on musculoskeletal disorders.