MONDAY HEALTH: All you need to know about Arthritis.

What is Arthritis? Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joints pain and stiffness, which typically worsens with age.

Types of  Arthritis.

1. Osteoarthritis.

2. Reactive arthritis.

3. Septic arthritis.

4. Thumb arthritis.

5. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis.

The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may include:

1. Pain.

2. Stiffness.

3. Swelling.

4. Decreased range of motion.

5. Redness.

Risk factors.

1. Age. The risk of many types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout increase with age.

2. Family history. Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder.

3. Your sex. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, another type of arthritis are men.

4. Obesity. Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine.

5. Previous joints injury. People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.

Treatment of Arthritis.

Treatment for Arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life.

Treatment might involve:

1. Medications.

2. Non pharmacologic therapies.

3. Physical or occupational therapy.

4. Splints or joint assistive aids.

5. Patient education and support.


Non inflammatory types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis are often treated with pain reducing medications, physical activity, and weight loss if the person is overweight and self management education.

Medications will depend in the type of arthritis. Commonly used drugs include: Analgesics, Non-steroidal anti flammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Counterirritants, Disease modifying ant rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Biologics and Corticosteroids.

                           Diagnosis of Arthritis.

1. Physical Exam.

Your doctor checks the fluids around your joints, warm or red joint and limited range of motion in the joints.

 2. Blood test. They check for specific types of antibodies like CCP (anti cyclic citrullinated peptide) and rheumatic factors.

Doctors commonly use imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI and CT scans to produce an image of your bones and cartilage. This is so they can rule out other causes of your symptoms such as bone spurs.

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