Many people have arthritis, which affects their joints through inflammation or degeneration (the breakdown of your joints). Arthritis makes it challenging to stay active, move, and function in daily life for some people.
Arthritis can affect both men, women, and children. Each type of arthritis has different symptoms that may require various treatments. Regardless of your age or type of arthritis, it can be debilitating and significantly impact your quality of life.
In this article, we will cover the most common types, symptoms, causes, risks, and treatments to help familiarize you with arthritis.
Types Of Arthritis
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis with various causes and treatment methods. Some of the most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis known as “wear and tear” arthritis and is caused by repetitive stress on the joints.
Osteoarthritis usually develops between the ages of 50 to 60 years and is more common in individuals who are overweight.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack the synovial membranes in their joints. The most common age for developing rheumatoid arthritis is between 30 to 50.
The symptoms develop over time, although they can develop suddenly.
- Psoriatic arthritis is when an individual with psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes skin irritation, develops joint inflammation.
- Gout is when hard crystals of uric acid form in your joints.
- Juvenile arthritis (JA) affects children that are 16 or younger and is a disorder where the immune system attacks the tissue around the joints.
Symptoms Of Arthritis
Arthritis symptoms may differ depending upon the type of arthritis you are experiencing. Generally, your symptoms will worsen in the morning when you get out of bed and when standing or using your hands after resting.
Common symptoms include:
- Loss of strength and mobility
Areas Commonly Affected
Arthritis affects the joint areas in the body, and the most commonly affected are:
- Lower back
Causes Of Arthritis
While different types of arthritis have a variety of causes, some factors increase your risk of developing arthritis, including:
- Family history of arthritis
- Work-related, activity, or sport-related repetitive stress on your joints
- Certain viral infections or autoimmune diseases
Risk Factors For Arthritis
Common factors that increase your chance of developing arthritis include:
- Being overweight puts extra strain on your joints, possibly leading to arthritis
- Your sex as arthritis affects women more often
- Lifestyle practices such as lack of exercise or smoking may increase your risk of arthritis
- Your age as the risk of arthritis increases as you get older
Diagnosis Of Arthritis
If you are suffering from joint pain, your doctor will ask about the symptoms you have been experiencing and do a physical exam to determine the causes of your pain, swelling, and any loss of range of motion. They may also order an X-ray or MRI to determine if you have:
- Cartilage breakdown around your joints
- Bone fractures or dislocations that could be the cause of your joint pain
- Soft tissue inflammation
- Tendon, muscle, or ligament injury around your joints
Treatments For Arthritis
While there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments that can help you manage the symptoms and pain. Treatment plans vary depending upon the severity of arthritis.
- Physical therapy to help you get stronger and improve your range of motion and mobility. Physical therapists can help you learn to make adjustments to your daily activities to lessen the pain
- Medications that are anti-inflammatories or pain medications to help relieve pain. If you have rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, your doctor may prescribe certain medications called biologics that target your immune system’s inflammatory response
- Therapeutic injections like cortisone shorts to temporarily help relieve inflammation and pain in your joints
Thunder Basin Orthopaedics And Sports Medicine Will Help Ease Your Pain
At Thunder Basin Orhtopaedics and Sports Medicine, our expert surgeons have extensive experience diagnosing, preventing, and treating various conditions and sports injuries. If you are experiencing pain or swelling in your knees, back, hands, hips, or other joints, we can help you. Contact us today to book an appointment.