“Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are a leading cause of disability among US adults, and the most common cause of disability among US adults for the past 15 years”. Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that manifests in many different ways. There are numerous types of arthritis and each has its own set of symptoms, pain and treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with the various types of arthritis, consult a qualified medical professional. Early detection and treatment may help lessen future episodes.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, autoimmune disorder. This disorder causes the body to attack its own tissue, inflicting damage to the body’s joint lining. These attacks can inflame the tissue cause swelling and joint pain. Pain associated with RA will often include sore and tender joints as well as fatigue and joint stiffness that is worse in the mornings. While there are medications to help with the symptoms of RA there is not currently a cure. Some patients find success in managing their symptoms by taking DMARDs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. These drugs can slow the spread of RA and the quick growth and tissue damage that could occur. Over the counter NSAIDs such as Aleve or Ibuprofen may also be used to help manage pain and inflammation. Steroids are also a possible treatment to help lessen inflammation and slow down the damage to joints. In addition to medication physical therapy or occupational therapy may be used to help strengthen and improve joint flexibility. Surgery may also be utilized to repair damaged joints and eliminate pain.
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects just over 12 percent of the U.S. population. It is particularly common in older adults. Osteoarthritis causes the layer of cartilage that covers the ends of the bone to wear away. Once this occurs, the bones are no longer able to easily glide and may rub against each other, causing pain and damage to the joint. Osteoarthritis typically impacts only joint function unlike RA which can also impact a person’s skin tissue, lungs and eyes. Treatments may include medications, injections, surgery and physical or occupational therapy.
This type of arthritis occurs in people who have psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease that typically occurs in episodes which can flare up and also subside for periods of time. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis both tend to get worse over time. A person suffering from psoriatic arthritis will usually have psoriasis first and then develop symptoms of the accompanying arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can include swollen and tender joints, similar to rheumatoid arthritis. However, psoriatic arthritis sufferers may also experience swelling in the fingers and toes, pain in the tendons and ligaments of the feet and pain in the lower back. There is not currently a cure for psoriatic arthritis so your medical team will focus on helping to manage your pain utilizing medications, steroid injections, and possible joint replacement surgery.
Gout is a complex form of arthritis that is more likely to affect men than women. Symptoms of gout most frequently occur at night and can include a sudden and severe episode of pain as well as joint pain. Sufferers often feel a burning sensation in the joint of the big toe. People with gout may have intense pain, joint swelling and discomfort and limited range of motion. Treating gout with usually include medications along with lifestyle changes that can help minimize the intensity and frequency of episodes. Along with the correct medications, limiting alcohol and sugar intake combined with proper nutrition and exercise can help relieve the symptoms of gout.
Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term to describe different types of arthritis that afflict those who are 16 years and younger. These varying types of arthritis are autoimmune diseases with no known cause. Children with juvenile arthritis may experience joint pain, swelling, tenderness, loss of motion and inflammation. Similar to adults, juvenile arthritis may be treated with medication, therapy, and in severe cases surgery. With adults and children, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and strong support system.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and associated conditions. Arthritis is a disease that can impact anyone of any age at any time. There are proactive measures that you can take to keep arthritis away such as maintaining a healthy weight and proper diet. Even in the healthiest of people, genetics and environmental factors may make you susceptible to arthritis. If you do develop any type of arthritis, there are treatments available to help. Proper diagnosis and treatment is imperative to managing or alleviating your pain. Work with a skilled pain management doctors to create a customized treatment plan to address and correct your arthritis symptoms.