“Joints are paining? Difficulty in walking and lifting objects? Increased irritability due to pain? Finding reasons to avoid activities? Socialisation is becoming difficult?”
Arthritis may be the cause!
Arthritis is one of the most common diseases with a high burden in the population all over the world. In the informal way this term is used to describe joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of Arthritis and it may affect any gender, age group and races and one of the commonest causes of disability amongst the population.
Commonest types of Arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis (Degenerative joint disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
Signs & Symptoms:
- Pain in joints
- Joint stiffness
- Aching around joints
- Over the time joints can lose strength & pain may become chronic
- Deformities and disabilities may develop
Most common form:
When the cartilage, cushioning surfaces at the ends of bones wears away, bone rubs against bone causing pain swelling an stiffness.
- Over weight ( obesity)
- Family history
- Gender ( post menopause women are more susceptible to Osteoarthritis)
- Certain lifestyle related issues like sedentary lifestyle, smoking , drinking, limited sunlight exposure, nutritional deficiencies etc
After general examination and history taking on the basis of symptoms , investigations are advised major inclusions are X rays& blood investigations and on the basis of results treatment is planned.
When symptoms are mild or moderate, they can be managed by:
- Balancing activities with rest
- Hot and cold therapies
- Regular physical therapies
- Weight management
- Strengthening of muscles around joint for added support
- Swimming and hydrotherapy
- Lifestyle modifications
- Pharmacological treatment: for symptomatic relief from pain killers are prescribed but in long term it can affect other organs like kidney so it is better to avoid prolonged usage. Also steroids may provide pain relief but may lead to brittle bones, weight gain poor immunity and increased susceptibility to infections
- Correcting Vit D deficiency
- Treating associated illnesses
In advanced stage:
When damage has already occurred, pain has become chronic and mobility and daily activities are getting affected then Surgical; treatment according to status of damage is planned.
Joint replacement is one of the most commonly performed and successful treatment of Arthritis which not only provides pain relief but also limits the further progression of disease and helps the patient to come back to their normal active life routine.