By Divya Tickoo, Physiotherapist
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or multiple joints, causing physical pain in ways depending on the type of Arthritis. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the most common arthritis types. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints and may get worst with age, however, at times appearing suddenly as well. Arthritis mostly develops in adults after 65 yrs of age and is rare amongst children. Women are more susceptible to arthritis than men, especially in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. Whereas gout; another type of arthritis, is more commonly found in men. Obesity seems to be a major cause for arthritis since it is often found in people who are obese. Medical care is often required to treat arthritis and keep the symptoms at bay.
Arthritis and its Symptoms
Symptoms of Arthritis in the knee are the most prominent and common amongst all types. The general arthritis symptoms for all types of arthritis are as follows:
· Extreme pain in the joints
· Stiffness of joints
· Difficulty in motion of the joint
Many of these symptoms are more likely experienced during the mornings around the knee cap. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes lack of appetite or fatigue due to the inflammation of the immune system. Which may further develop into anaemia experiencing a low grade fever?
Common Arthritis Types
Two common types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis: where there is wear down of the flexible cartilage covering the end of each bone/joint. This type of arthritis causes extreme pain, swelling and difficulty in movement of the joints and commonly occurs in knees, hips, lower back and neck.
Rheumatoid arthritis: is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation of the joints and the tissues around it. It also causes swelling in other multiple body organs and thus is also known as systemic illness.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or JIA: both the terms being used interchangeably, Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis is a chronic, non infective, inflammatory and autoimmune joint disease. JIA is mainly seen in children and adolescents.
Arthritis - Treatment
Treatment largely depends on the type of arthritis and its degree and is mainly aimed at alleviation of the joint pain. However individuals respond differently to the treatment. The common techniques used to reduce arthritis pain are; placing heat pads or ice packs on the joints. People with arthritis knee use devices to enable mobility such as walkers and or canes. This reduces the pressure on the joints while walking.
MEDICATION FOR ARTHRITIS
There are a number of medications for treating arthritis.
· Analgesics – for pain management
· Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) – helps in controlling pain and inflammation
· Menthol or capsaicin creams: block the pain from radiating to other body parts
· Immunosuppressant – helps in subsiding inflammation of the joint
Note: It is advised not to engage in self medications for arthritis. Treatments are only to be taken on recommendations of a doctor.
SURGERY FOR ARTHRITIS
Joint replacement, the most common being knee and hip replacement may be suggested by the doctor, in case of certain types of arthritis.
In case of severity of arthritis of finger or wrists, a joint fusion is performed. These methods are adopted only in severe cases, where the arthritis pain is extreme and when medication or physiotherapy does not help.
Physiotherapy for Arthritis
For arthritis physiotherapy involves exercising the affected joints which helps muscle strengthening around the joint and is one of the more natural ways to heal joint. It is thus recommended to begin with in the early stage of the disease. Physiotherapy for arthritis is most commonly administered for arthritis in knee, as well as for treating back and neck pain due to arthritis. Experts from Portea are well equipped to handle such cases.
Risk Factors of having Arthritis:
· Family history – arthritis can also be genetic or hereditary due to the environmental factors that one is exposed to.
· Age – Arthritis pain and arthritis symptom increase with age.
· Earlier joint injury – those with early joint injury tends to develop arthritis in that joint.
· Obesity – Excess body weight puts stress on the joints and is the most common cause of arthritis knee.
Complications in Arthritis:
Severe cases of arthritis in the wrists, fingers, etc. may hinder performing daily tasks due to the arthritis pain. Similarly, arthritis in knees or hips, ankles, etc. may cause discomfort while walking or sitting. It is thus, extremely important that proper attention to the problem is given as soon as you detect symptom of arthritis and begin arthritis rehabilitation or physical therapy for arthritis. You may contact Portea for detailed evaluation and proper line of treatment. Arthritis treatment is facilitated by Portea and you can get several solutions en route towards battling physical complications arising from the same.