11 Key Facts About Arthritis You Should Learn

Introduction:

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes pain & stiffness on joints. As per data from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the doctor diagnosed 54.4 million US adults are affected by arthritis. Out of them, 23.5% are women & 18.1% are men have arthritis symptoms. Arthritis symptoms increase with the age.

 

This blog post will discuss 11 key facts about arthritis that we all should know:
What is arthritis?

It is commonly thought that arthritis is a single disease. But in reality, it indirectly refers to joint pain or joint disease. The meaning of arthritis causes pain, inflammation & stiffness in a joint. Over time, the symptoms got worsen.

Common symptoms of arthritis include redness, swelling & reduced range of motion of the affected joints.

If those symptoms are kept untreated, inflammation might cause severe damages to joints like the dysfunctionality of those organs.

The nature of arthritis is chronic & random. They appear off & on. The severity ranges from mild to severe.

They might exist for months, years & even in the whole lifetime. Acute pain interrupts daily activities like the inescapability of lifting things, climbing stairs or walking long distances.

Chronic Arthritis affects gradually finger points, knees, eyes, skin & lungs function. Along with, the activities of kidneys, liver, mouths, hearts & blood vessels are also impacted by long endured arthritis.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Among them, the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis & rheumatoid.

Osteoarthritis causes damage to any joint of the body. But most commonly affects the joints of your knees, hands, hips & spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. It mainly causes stiffness in joints. But it can also trigger inflammation of the eyes, skin, lungs & heart.

People of all ages, sexes & races can have arthritis. It is one of the main reasons for the disability of American citizens.

It is most prevalent in women than men. During old ages, its intensity got increased.

Related readings:
What are the 5 types of common arthritis?

Here, we will discuss the common 5 types of arthritis in details:

Osteoarthritis:

The most common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis which impacting millions of people over the world. This pattern appears when your joints became overused.

It happens when the flexible tissue cartilage which covers the ends of bones tear down over time.

Typically, osteoarthritis causes damage on any joint of any organ, but it impacts are huge on joints of your hands, wrists, necks, shoulders, elbows, knees, hips & spines.

Though it occurs mainly in the late age, but it can also stem from obesity & joint injury. The conditions of osteoarthritis fluctuate over time.

The intensity of joint pain might differ from person to person. Some may experience moderate pain to an improved state. Others may face less severe pain to extreme pain.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis differ considering which parts of joints are affected. Few common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • Acute pain & stiffness in the affected joints
  • Stiffness usually observes during morning time & the end of the day. Even while you move your joints pain might be more severe.
  • Increased pain after resting.
  • Feeling severe ache while dressing, combing heir, grabbing any things, climbing stairs, cringing, etc.
  • The affected joints seem slightly larger or more “knobbly” than usual.
  • Feeling a grating or crackling sound in your joints.
  • Feeling restricted on the full volume of movement.
  • Stiff pain while walking.

Though the damage of joints cannot be recoverable, symptoms of osteoarthritis can be manageable. Regular exercise, being physically active, maintaining a balanced weight & taking some treatments can reduce joint pain.

Readings: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoarthritis/symptoms/

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of arthritis called an autoimmune disorder. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) damages severely joint points of any organ. It causes stiff pain & aches though out the body.

If RA affects a joint of one of your elbows or knees, the same joint of your other elbow or knee might also get impacted.

This feature helps doctors to differentiate RA from other arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA).

It is found that almost 1 out of every 5 people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis find lumps on their skin called rheumatoid nodules.

These bumps can be as big as a walnut or as small as a pea.

Rheumatoid arthritis can start gradually or suddenly. Its intensity is higher than osteoarthritis.

The major few symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis are as below:

  • Chronic inflammation & pain in the joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects multiple joints. It creates stiffness & swelling in hands, wrists, elbows, neck, shoulders, knees, feet & jaw.
  • Joint pain usually became more acute during the morning & after inactivity.
  • Fever, fatigue & loss of appetite.
  • Reduction of joint functions & deformities.
Psoriatic Arthritis:

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation, ache & stiffness in the joints. It also creates inflammation of the skin which is known as psoriasis an itchy, painful skin condition.

The major signs of psoriatic arthritis are joint inflexibility & swelling.

This type of arthritis normally starts between ages 30 & 50, but it may appear during childhood as well.

Psoriatic arthritis equally affects both men & women.

They can impact any parts of your organs of your but primarily on your fingertips & spine.

Their intensity can move from mild to severe.

The medications of psoriatic arthritis include exercise, joint protection & medication, such as NSAIDS, immunosuppressants, and biologics.

Related Readings:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354076

Gout:

Gout is a very common inflammatory arthritis that causes severe pain.

Gout is a build-up uric acid crystal in a joint.

Most of the time, it affects the big toe joint.

When symptoms degraded highly, this time is known as flares. And when there are zero symptoms, known as remission.

This is a type of arthritis that may appear when you feel sudden stiff pain in your big toe after severe drinking.

Apart from that, chronic stress, drug abuse & other illness also trigger gout attacks.

The major symptoms of Gout are many, such as:

  • Enormous joint pain on your big toe, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, or elbows.
  • Feeling very warm & tender on affected joints.
  • Restricted movement due to stiff pain
  • The affected joints will be red & swollen.

There is no full recovery treatment for gout. But consistent medication & self-prevention can be helpful to manage its intensity.

Related Readings:

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/gout.html#:~:text=quality%20of%20life%3F-,What%20is%20gout%3F,no%20symptoms%2C%20known%20as%20remission.

Lupus

Lupus is one type of autoimmune disease which occurs when your immune system strikes your tissues & organs.

It usually affects your joints & other organs, like skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, lungs & brains.

Lupus can be very hard to detect by doctors as its signs & symptoms are very identical to other diseases.

Lupus is usually prevalent more in women than men. It highly prevails more in African-American women than white women.

The common symptoms of Lupus are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle & joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Chest pain
  • Sun or light sensitivity
  • Kidney problems
  • Eye disease
  • Memory problems
  • Anemia

Related Readings:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/symptoms-causes/syc-20365789#:~:text=Lupus%20is%20a%20disease%20that,and%20organs%20(autoimmune%20disease).

What are the causes of arthritis?

The causes of arthritis are many & diversified. Experts & scientists revealed below few cause which interchangeably responsible for arthritis:

  • Genetic (hereditary) factors
  • Injury (leading to degenerative & osteoarthritis)
  • Various bacterial & viral infections have direct & indirect impacts.
  • Complications with the immune system or by a metabolic condition like gout.
  • Obesity or weight gain can cause stress on joints.
  • Dysfunctionality of immune systems, such as RA and SLE.
  • Any record of the previous injury like a sports injury.

Arthritis can also develop from over-smoking, physically demanding occupation & psychical inactivity.

Usually, arthritis is one kind of rheumatic disease. The features, complications & treatments might differ from person to person. They commonly affect joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons & cartilage.

Related Readings:

https://www.medicinenet.com/arthritis/article.htm

What foods cause arthritis?

As arthritis is an inflammatory disability, so certain food habits might trigger joint pains more.

Here, we’re going to share few food & diet habits that need to be cancelled who causes symptoms of arthritis:

  • Gluten
  • Processed & red meats
  • Salty foods
  • Few vegetable oils
  • Dairy
  • Corn, sunflower & peanut
  • Grilled foods
  • Added sugars
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Alcohol

Related Readings:

https://www.medicinenet.com/which_foods_make_arthritis_worse/article.htm

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

The major signs & symptoms are quite similar depending upon considering different types of arthritis.

The common signs of arthritis are as below:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth & Redness
  • Changes in appearance
  • Degraded range of motion
  • Fever, fatigue, weight loss & anemia.

Related Readings:
 
https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/signs-of-arthritis

How does arthritis diagnose?

The diagnosis of arthritis has several steps for proper identification.

 
Step#1 For the diagnosis of arthritis, an initial meeting will be held between the patient & the doctor. The doctor will perform a physical exam to check your joints for swelling, redness & warmth.

The doctor will also check the range of affected joint motion. Along with doctors also examine the functionality of other parts of the body for inflammation.

 

Step#2 The doctor will recommend conducting some blood, urine, joint fluid, or x-ray to pinpoint the type of arthritis you have.

The test & diagnosis will be based upon the types of symptoms & the distribution of the inflamed joints.

 

Through X-rays & blood tests, doctors investigate the antibodies named rheumatoid factors in the blood to identify rheumatoid arthritis.

 

To diagnose osteoarthritis, a doctor conducts an x-ray to find out the loss of cartilage, bone damage & bone spur formation. To check other types of arthritis, the doctor uses a needle to collect a sample of your joint fluid.

 

Step#3 To detect the symptoms of arthritis, doctors use Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Ultrasound apart from x-rays & blood tests.

 

Step#4 Usually, a general physician can give enough advice about symptoms & types of arthritis. But if the guideline of the diagnosis process is hazy then you can consult with any rheumatologist.

Related Readings:

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/arthritis/article_em.htm#what_exams_and_tests_do_doctors_use_to_diagnose_arthriti

What are the treatments for arthritis?

Arthritis treatment might differ from person to person. It usually depends upon the type of arthritis, geographical location, severity & underlying medical condition of the patient. Considering the patient’s physical condition, the doctor might suggest following below combination of different types of treatments or a single method of treatment.

Medications of arthritis:

The main goal of arthritis treatment is to reduce inflammation & improve the condition of the damaged area before it turns too severe.

Initially, doctor recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Aleve painkiller which helps to reduce pain but not inflammation.

Some types of NSAIDs are prevalent only by prescription. Some NSAIDs are available in form of creams or jells which can use on affected joints.

To reduce the severe ache of affected joints doctor might use corticosteroid joint injections. Depending upon the scenario, the doctor might also apply the hyaluronic solution to your damaged joints.

This will help you to decrease pain & improve mobility.

The doctor might prescribe opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, others) or hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER) to reduce stressful pain. Long-time use of opioids can create mental & physical dependency.


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may take few additional drugs to relieve pain, drugs, such as:

 

  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • abatacept (Orencia)
  • anakinra (Kineret)
  • adalimumab-atto(Amjevita),
  • biosimilar to Humira,
  • etanercept (Enbrel),
  • a biosimilar to Enbrel
  • hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil),
  • a biosimilar to Remicade,
  • infliximab (Remicade),
  • golomumab(Simponi, Simponia, Aria)
  • leflunomide (Arava)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine),
  • certolizumab (Cimzia),
  • etanercept (Enbrel),
  • azathioprine (Imuran),
  • rituximab (Rituxan),
  • tocilizumab (Actemra),
  • etanercept-szzs (Ereizi) &
  • tofacitnib(Xeljanz).

These medications help to reduce inflammation & suppress the immune system.

Some counter-irritant creams & ointments contain menthol the ingredient that can rub over stiffed joints to reduce pain.

What is the surgery of arthritis treatment?

Arthritis patients might face various types of surgery depending upon the severity & complexity of their underlying physical condition. Surgery methods might be helpful to correct deformity & improve mobility.

Doctors who are major in joint surgery are orthopedic surgeons.

To minimize pain & improve mobility, the doctor might go for joint repair. Through this surgery, joint surfaces are smoothed to improve functionality.

These types of surgery can often be executed arthroscopically. This process allows surgeons to perform through small incisions over the joints.

If arthritic inflammation became unbearable then the doctor goes for surgical replacement. Through this surgery, the doctor eliminates your removed joints & replaces them with artificial elements.

Currently, artificial joints are available which are made of plastic, stainless steel & ceramic materials. Through this process, joints of knees, hips, shoulder, fingers & elbows can be replaced.

Joint fusion surgery often applies to resolve the problem of smaller joints of the wrist, ankles & fingers. This procedure blends the two bones into a single unit.

Often time doctor performs spinal surgery for neck & lower spine arthritis. This helps to reduce the instability of the joints & reduce intense pain.

Related Readings:

 https://www.emedicinehealth.com/arthritis/article_em.htm#what_other_forms_of_therapy_treat_arthritis

 

What are the best home remedies for arthritis?

Along with following medical treatments, people of having arthritis can follow some lifestyle & home remedies to reduce pain & inflammation of joints.

Here, we’re going to discussing a few:

Weight Loss:

Obesity is one of the main reasons for having arthritis problems. The accumulated weight pressure causes gradually to tear down the cartilage between the joints. It worsens the condition of osteoarthritis patients more.

 

Losing overweight will minimize stress & reduce future damage on joints

Heat & Cold:

Heat & cold are two effective home remedies for arthritis to reduce stress.

Heat therapy reduces the stiffness of affected joints & creates comfort in muscle pain. Heat therapy also stimulates blood circulation.

On the other hand, cold therapy numbs deep pain. It also reduces swelling by restricting blood vessels.

People need to be careful of applying these treatments whether they are causing any skin damage.

Follow Good Exercise:

Practicing regular meditation & mindfulness will help you to lower your stress which causes by arthritis pain. It increases coping mechanisms to face any physical ache.

 

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a special program that utilizes mindfulness to help people face their pain & stress.

MBSR also improves the immune system of people with rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Some experts recommend tai chi & yoga. These tasks mix meditation, relaxation & breathing techniques.

 

Mild meditation will help to eliminate anxiety, depression & stress which are common conditions of arthritis.

Practice Meditation:

Practicing regular meditation & mindfulness will help you to lower your stress which causes by arthritis pain. It increases coping mechanisms to face any physical ache.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a special program that utilizes mindfulness to help people face their pain & stress.

MBSR also improves the immune system of people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Some experts recommend tai chi & yoga. These tasks mix meditation, relaxation & breathing techniques.

Mild meditation will help to eliminate anxiety, depression & stress which are common conditions of arthritis.

Follow a proper healthy diet:

There are little evidences found that selection of proper diet helps the early recovery of people of having RA & OA.

 

A diet which is full of fresh fruits, vegetables & nutritious food helps you to strengthen your immune system which reduces the inflammation of arthritis.

 

Below food habits help to reduce arthritis stress & pain:

  • Green Tea
  • Berries, apples, & pomegranates.
  • Fatty Fish
  • Ginger & Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Vegetables
  • Canola & olive oils
  • Spinach
  • Whole grains
  • Turmeric
  • Nuts
  • Grapes
  • Dark chocolate

These healthy diets eventually reduce arthritic related inflammation & improve overall wellbeing.

Massage:

Massage therapy is a very effective short-form drug-free method to reduce the pain & stiffness of arthritis. One careful factor, massage should be taken from Registered Massage Therapist.

Experts revealed in several studies about few benefits of massage for minimizing stress caused by arthritis:

  • Massage minimizes the production of the stress hormone cortisol which triggers pain
  • Massage also elevates the mood by maximizing serotonin levels.
  • As per studies of the National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases (NIAMSD) reveals that massage lowers the pain & enhances flexibility in the muscles, joints & tendons.
  • A Toronto-based RMT Claire Gavin explains in her study that consistent massage reduces muscle stiffness which is a symptom of arthritis by improving blood flow.
  • People who have rheumatoid arthritis massage can boost healthy circulation throughout the affected joints. It also alleviates swelling.
  • People who have osteoarthritis massage can improve the restriction of joint movement. It also relieves the anxiety & stress associated with OA.
What is the alternative treatment for arthritis?

Many people go for an alternative treatment to alleviate stress from arthritis but there is very little scientific evidence found to support those treatments. You should consult with the doctor before considering those treatments.

 

Here, we’re discussing few alternative treatments for arthritis.

Acupuncture:

It is an ancient Chinese practice that thinks that each person bears essential life energy within self is known as chi (or qi).

 

Due to illness or pain, chi can be interrupted. They believe that using fine needles at specific points of the skin will release blocked chi.

 

Consequently, it will relieve the pain & stress of arthritis.

 

Yoga & tai chi:

Tai chi is a mind-body exercise that follows meditation & deep breathing to reduce arthritis pain.

Tai chi improves the overall well-being of people who have chronic osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis

 

Tai chi is suitable for all ages & abilities. Usually, tai chi can be done in group settings or alone.

 

A lot of studies found that those who practice yoga regularly can alleviate arthritis symptoms easily.

 

Yoga improves joint flexibility & speed of motion of people who have arthritic symptoms.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin:

Patients with osteoarthritis usually take Glucosamine & Chondroitin as supplements to reduce their pain. Although few studies found that the result of the effectiveness of both supplements is quite debatable.

 

Glucosamine & Chondroitin both have anti-inflammatory features. Both these supplements usually cover the cells called chondrocytes.

 

This cell protects the cartilage structure. In such a manner, Glucosamine & Chondroitin reduce the deterioration of cartilage & reduce joint stiffness.

How does follow-up need after initial treatment of arthritis?

After taking initial treatment, the patient should follow up with the doctor along with maintaining their prescribed method. It is important to identify post-treatment complexities if there is anything that can be dangerous for the patient.

Let’s highlight few viewpoints why a patient with arthritis should have a close touch with their health care professionals:

 

  • To measure the coping mechanism of the patient with new treatment & medication procedures.
  • The patient should be in close follow-up with the doctor to learn their gradual improvement process. Also, develop skills how to face new challenges if arise.
  • Close follow up also crucial to evaluate the medication intake to ensure safety.
Can arthritis be cured permanently?

There is no permanent cure for rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Through proper treatment & constructive lifestyle changes might improve the symptoms of arthritis.

 

But the signs & symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis were never suspended permanently.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis is a gradual progressive illness. Due to this illness, some might face smaller deformities. Others might experience severe deformity due to stiff pain.

 

Though rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured fully but over time with consistent medication & follow-up make it symptomless aggressive.

 

The use of several drugs like disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMRDs) & biologic response modifiers will provide comfort to the patient. They will reduce damage & disability over time.

How to prevent arthritis?

Though arthritis cannot be cured permanently if we follow a few precautions & strategies then we can prevent arthritis symptoms to get become worse.

Reduce excessive weight:

Those who have obesity problems need to lose extra weight so that the stressed joints get comfort. Eventually, it will reduce pain. Losing weight will kill stress especially on the knees & hip. Maintaining a balanced diet & following physical exercise will reduce extra weight significantly over time.

Remain Active:

Staying physically active is a highly effective non-drug method to prevent symptoms of arthritis. Adults with arthritis who remain active physically can able to reduce pain, improve joint function & elevate moods. Being regular active people can resist the arthritis related-disability.

 

Remaining involved in physical activities, people with arthritis can also manage other chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes & heart disease.

Defend your joints:

Joint injuries can trigger arthritis further. People with arthritis can follow less stressful & risky exercises like swimming, walking & bicycling.

Following the right approach when sitting, lifting & working can protect your joints from daily damage.

 

For example, you have to seat a long time in one place for work then keep in mind that your back, arms & legs are well-aligned.

Eat Fish:

Several studies found that if your diet is rich in fish & fish oils will help manage inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Few types of research also revealed that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are much lesser where fish consumption is higher.

 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests eating fish like salmon, trout, and sardines which is highly rich in omega-3s twice a week.

Consult with your doctor

If you feel that your arthritis symptoms are developing then meet with your health care professional without being late.

 

Normally, arthritis is a gradually progressive disease, so waiting long will increase the potentiality of more disability.

 

After meeting with the doctor, they will provide necessary recommendations & lifestyle changes to prevent arthritis symptoms.