Rheumatoid Care


What is arthritis?

A healthy body has a self-protective immune system. The immunity automatically generates internal regulation to prevent infection and disease.

In some cases, this could not happen to result in diseases like Arthritis.

Arthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease. It is commonly misunderstood as joint pain or joint disease. Arthritis is generally perceived as an old person’s disease. But arthritis is more than the wear and tear of joints resulting from old age. It can happen to people of all ages, sexes, and races. It is the leading cause of disability in many people. Let’s delve deep to understand arthritis.

What triggers arthritis? 

This autoimmunity disorder is triggered by a combination of genetics and environmental factors like Smoking, stress, lack of physical activity, cold climate, lack of sleep, red meat consumption, prolonged sitting etc:-

Types of arthritis and their symptoms

It is observed that over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Some of the most common types are:

Degenerative Arthritis: 

Degenerative arthritis is one of the most   commonly found arthritis. It is also called Osteoarthritis. It can result in pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can cause Joints to lose strength and cause chronic pain. Osteoarthritis may occur with aging, or following trauma or another injury to a joint

Inflammatory Arthritis:

Inflammatory arthritis causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the joints with uncontrolled inflammation. This results in joint erosion. Examples of Inflammatory Arthritis are Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout. RA is an autoimmune disease that often occurs in younger adults where the body’s defence attack the joint lining.

Infectious Arthritis:

It is caused by a bacterium, virus, or fungus (salmonella and shigella) that enters the joint and triggers inflammation. It can become chronic if left untreated.

Metabolic Arthritis:

In some people, due to excess production of uric acid needle-like crystals are formed in the joints, causing extreme joint pain, or a gout attack. This is called metabolic arthritis. It can become chronic, causing ongoing pain and disability.

Common symptoms of arthritis

  • Pain in the Joint, stiffness, or swelling generally occurring during the mornings or after physical activity like exercises or play
  • Limited range of motion in the joint or spine
  • Tenderness and redness of the skin around the joint
  • Joint catching or locking with movement
  • Decreased mobility

What can Arthritis do to you?

It affects the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, eyes, brain, blood, intestines as well as joints. Arthritis can cause permanent joint damage such as a knobby finger joint that can be visible in X Ray. Arthritis may cause Inflammation that can also damage internal organs, eyes, and other parts of the body.

Arthritis is a concern if

The pain and stiffness come on quickly for no apparent reason and do not subside. The pain was accompanied by fever. The pain comes with redness and extreme tenderness of the joint. There are pain and stiffness in your arms, legs, or back after sitting for short periods or after a night’s sleep. There are swelling or painful joints for more than 2 weeks. there is limited mobility in joints for more than 2 weeks.

 Next Steps-Treatment

Prevention is better than cure: Many things can be done to prevent arthritis and preserve joint function, mobility, and quality of life.

Try to stay active and avoid injury and repetitive movements. Start Learning about the disease and treatment options, make time for physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.

First things first. Try to find what causes you pain. Talk to a general physician about your symptoms. Refer a rheumatologist if you are diagnosed with Arthritis.

For the right diagnosis complete physical examination of your body including the spine, joints, skin, and eyes are done. You need to get blood tests to detect the cause of inflammation. In cases where an infection or gout is suspected, it may be useful to draw some fluid from a joint with a needle to analyse the contents of the material. Also, your physician may suggest imaging tests.

Your doctor will likely conduct a complete physical examination and may perform blood tests to look for inflammation to help diagnose your condition. Some more tests that are advised are bone x-ray, CT, MRI, or ultrasound.

If you Are diagnosed with arthritis, your Treatment includes reducing pain, improving function, and preventing further joint damage. You can prevent permanent joint damage and Slow down the progress of the disease (Remission).

 Treatment will depend on the type, severity, and location of arthritis and may include medication, therapy, or surgery

  • Medication: Joint inflammation and pain can be reduced using prescription and non-prescription medications. You can use one or more medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Over-the-counter pain relievers also help. These DMARD’s prevent or delay surgery, prevent disabilities and dose not cause side effect. They are not steroids. They can be in the form of tablets or injections also.
  • Therapy: Motion and flexibility can be improved using Physical therapy and exercise. Regular physical activity, hot and cold therapies are very helpful. This also improves muscle and bone strength. You can also try massage therapy, water therapy, or orthotics.
  • Surgery. In very severe conditions if mobility is restricted affecting the quality of life then joint replacement surgery may be considered as an alternative. In some cases, Joint replacement or joint fusion surgery can be used for treatment. Usually surgery is the last treatment if all above fails.
  • Assistive devices can be used to help manage mild to moderate symptoms 
  • Body mechanics There are various techniques that you can use like Body mechanics methods which suggest ways to use all your body parts in such a way that pain can be managed. This involves learning how to do day-to-day activities in ways that are less stressful to your joints. These body mechanic tips will help manage your pain.
  • Use good posture: Maintain Good posture by putting your body in the most efficient and least stressful position. Improper posture is more tiring and adds to your pain. Good posture protects your neck back hips and knees from injuries.You can lean against a wall while standing or put your foot up on a stool to avoid pain. This will keep your back straight and avoid slouching. While lying on your back you can Sleep with a small roll in your pillowcase or you can use a cervical pillow to avoid stressing your neck or neck muscles. Try to Avoid using pillows under your knees. While Lying on your side Use several pillows or a large body pillow to support your arms and legs. Try to Distribute your load. You must try to use large joints and muscles and spread the load over stronger joints and larger surface areas. You can consider Carry a purse with a shoulder strap rather than carrying it in your hand or use a fanny pack.
  • Other Resources: You can connect with NGOs like The Arthritis Foundation dedicated to serving all people with arthritis. It has many resources for learning about arthritis, connecting with other people who have arthritis, and helping to raise funds for a cure.
  • Weight control: Extra weight puts more stress on your body knees back feet and joints. This extra stress can lead to chronic joint pain and damage. If your body weight is in excess try a weight loss program. Consider adding a healthy diet to your exercise program. This will enhance your energy levels. This will help you feel better and healthier.
  • Take breaks:  You must try to avoid overdoing any exercise or rest. Try to take short breaks and plan heavyweight and lightweight activities in a way to keep balance
  • Organize: Well, Organized work and storage areas help in easy management. Try to keep all equipment and tools within easy reach and at a comfortable level. You can make use of organizers like Lazy Susan or plastic bins for an easy approach. This will help you avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Acknowledge pain: The purpose of pain is not suffering but for taking  timely  action. Keep a check on the impact of physical activity on your pain. If your pain increases during or after completing an activity or exercise, then you must pay attention to the duration of the workout. Be conscious of pain that lasts for more than two hours after completing a task. You can check with your doctor or therapist about different ways to manage various types of pain.
  • External Aids: External self-help devices can reduce stress off your joints. Always consider your capacity of body motion and physical strength. Self-help devices can make tasks easier and more efficient especially when your body is stiff. These products can:
    1. Provide space to give you more force, keep joints and muscles in the best position for function
    2. Extend your reach if your range of motion is limited and
    3. Help you avoid strain on joints and muscles Using self-help products requires less energy on your part and places less stress on your muscles and joints.


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