Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It may affect a single or multiple joint. The two most common forms of arthritis are, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It usually affects the elderly aged over 65 years of age. It is commonly found to affect women than men who are obese.
- Family history of the disease
- Increasing age
- Joint injury in the past
- Abnormal metabolism could lead to gout
- Dysfunctional Immune system
- Certain infections
- Gender; women are at an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis whereas men are more prone to gout
- Common signs of arthritis include pain in the joints along with limited and restricted mobility of the joints.
- You may also experience joint pain, stiffness, redness and swelling in the joints.
- In case arthritis affects the small joints of the hands, bone growth and loss of grip and strength may also be observed.
- Other symptoms commonly observed amongst patients include, fever and swelling in glands (lymph nodes)
- Weight loss
- In most cases, the pain in the joints or muscles can be reduced by trying home remedies or over-the-counter medications. However, if the pain persists and does not get better make sure you see a doctor at the earliest.
- For an accurate diagnosis, the doctor will first examine you physically and ask you for relevant symptoms.
- The doctor may suggest you to get laboratory tests such as blood, urine and joint fluid tests done. Imaging studies may include CT scan, MRI and an X-ray of the affected areas to assess the extent of joint damage.
- He shall also ask you for the relevant symptoms that could help him understand the presence or absence of the disease.
- Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will prescribe you with medications that shall help to reduce pain. You may also use topical ointments to reduce stiffness and increase mobility.
- The doctor will recommend strengthening exercises to prevent further damage and increase mobility of the joints.
- In case of severity, if nothing helps, the doctor may suggest surgery to replace the damaged joints through a replacement therapy.
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