How serious is arthritis?
Arthritis is a generalized name for diseases that are accompanied by inflammatory processes in the joints. Arthritis can be both an underlying disease and a manifestation of another disease (gout, psoriasis, rheumatism, etc.). The presence of discomfort and pain in the joints is a reason for contacting an orthopedist-traumatologist, because attempts at arthritis self-treatment (as well as using alternative methods), in the vast majority of cases, are unsuccessful.
The main arthritis symptom, as a rule, becomes joint pain, which is the main disease symptom, but its nature is different, depending on the type of arthritis. In addition, the disease can manifest itself:
- decreased joint mobility;
- redness of the skin over the joint;
- deformation of the joint, sometimes its swelling;
- general weakness and fever;
- arthritis leads to joint damage and complete inoperability.
What causes arthritis and its types?
The disease can be caused by infections, injuries, obesity, endocrine diseases, genetic factors, alcohol abuse, or nutritional deficiencies. The growth of the disease is facilitated by allergic reactions, immunosuppression (the low immune system), wear and tear of joints with age, or high and regular stress on them (for example, when playing sports or specific work activities).
Depending on the nature of the course there are such types of arthritis as acute (a sharp onset and rapid increase in pain) or chronic (symptoms, at first, are poorly identified and increase gradually). Acute arthritis can often become chronic.
Types of Arthritis
- Infectious or septic (can develop at any age and is manifested by joint pain, fever, and swelling of the extremities).
- Osteoarthritis (slowly progressive joint damage that develops with age).
- Traumatic (a consequence of closed injuries in the joint area).
- Reactive arthritis (the body’s response to infection of other organs).
- Purulent (develops when an infection enters the joint area due to open injury).
- Psoriatic arthritis (joint damage in patients with psoriasis).
- Subgric (damage to predominantly small joints due to accumulation of uric acid, usually developing in men 24-50 years of age).
- Rheumatoid (most often manifests in the harmful effect on the hand and feet’s joints, its causes are not fully understood).
What is the best treatment for arthritis?
Arthritis treatment focuses on treating symptoms (especially pain) and the underlying cause. In addition the patient should be examined by an orthopedic traumatologist, if arthritis is suspected, hardware diagnostics can be shown: CT, X-ray or ultrasound of the joint.
If there is a suspicion of rheumatoid, psoriatic or gouty arthritis, consultation with specialists (rheumatologist, dermatologist or therapist, respectively) is required. Usually, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial drugs could be prescribed. Arthritis treatment may include massage, exercise therapy, and a special diet.