Arthritis is nothing but the inflammation of the joints in the body. OsteoArthritis typically worsens with age, with the main symptoms being joint pain & stiffness. Arthritis affects more than 18 crore people in India, that’s higher than many well-known diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and cancer. Around 14% of Indians seek doctors’ help every year for this joint disease.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is not just one disease, it’s a group of 100+ diseases with their own different causes and treatments. Out of these, there are 5 which are most common types of Arthritis. They are-
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints, your body’s shock absorber, breaks down. This will eventually cause your joints to be inflamed and your bones to rub together. This further leads to pain, bone injury, and even bone spurs(Osteophytes).
You may experience swollen joints, feel stiffness in the joints in the morning or after resting, joints creaking, and loss of range of motion. You will also feel aching pain while walking, have trouble dressing, combing your hair, gripping things, bending over, squatting, or climbing stairs.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a progressive, chronic, and disabling autoimmune disease. That means the immune system gets confused and attacks healthy parts of the body, especially the joints. This leads to swelling, inflammation, and pain in and around the joints. RA usually affects the hands and feet first, but it can occur in any joint.
RA may lead to joint deformity and unsteadiness while walking. In some cases, RA also causes fever, weight loss and weakness. You may experience difficulties in sleep, rheumatoid nodules under the skin and near joints, such as the elbow, that are firm to the touch and consist of inflamed cells. A numbness, warmth, tingling or burning sensation in your hands and feet.
Psoriasis causes patchy, raised, red and white areas of inflamed skin with scales. It usually affects the scalp, the navel, tips of the elbows and knees, and other areas of skin. About 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis will also get psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
The symptoms can be lower back pain. This happens because inflammation can develop between the bones of the spine and the pelvis. You may also see swollen fingers and toes, a hallmark of PsA, which can cause painful swelling that can make the fingers and toes resemble sausages. Swelling and deformities can appear in the hands and feet before significant joint symptoms appear. Inflammation can even cause redness and irritation in the eyes.
- Lupus (SLE- Systemic Lupus Erythamatosis)
Lupus is an auto-immune disease where something makes your immune system go haywire. Instead of attacking bacteria, viruses and other invaders, it starts to cause inflammation and pain throughout your body, from your joints to your skin, lungs, kidneys, heart and even your brain.
Lupus symptoms include butterfly-shaped rashes on the face, loss of appetite, joint pain, hair loss, fever, fatigue and photosensitivity. Your joints might be swollen, you might get headaches, swelling in the feet, legs, hands, or around the eyes. You might get mouth sores, Blue or white fingers or toes when exposed to cold.
Gout is a crystalline or inflammatory form of arthritis in which high levels of uric acid crystals cause painful, swollen and stiff joints. Gout results from you eating or drinking too many foods that raise uric acid levels, this leads to your body making more uric acid and your kidneys can’t process the uric acid your body makes.
Acute Gout attack sometimes has a sudden onset in the night. You may wake up and feel a sudden sharp pain in your foot that may last for a few days. The big toe joint pain may be so intense that even the weight of the bedsheet may cause too much pain. If gout goes untreated too long, it can affect your joints and kidneys.
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