Arthritis is not a single disease but it is a group of diseases. These diseases can affect any joint in the body causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Arthritis is found to be the main cause of disability worldwide and is termed as a killer disease. It can lead to death as well if not managed on time. This is not a type of selective disease which can occur in only elderly person. The study has found that over 50% of the population suffering from arthritis is under the age of 65years. Accordingly, the causes, symptoms, and treatment vary depending on the individual person and the type of arthritis affected from. Arthritis not only affects the joints but it can affect out skin including internal organs and can cause tissue damage as well. Arthritis is referred to as an “umbrella term” which comprises of more than 100 types. Each type varies to some extent in causes, sign and symptoms and method of treatment. The commonly seen symptoms are pain, inflammation, and stiffness which get worse during the morning.
Types of arthritis
Pain is considered to be the main feature of arthritis and accordingly, the diseases are classified as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Still’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Rheumatoid arthritis: This is defined as a long-term autoimmune disorder affecting joints. It includes the joint of hands and wrist commonly.
Commonly seen symptoms are pain and stiffness. The symptom varies according to the affected area. It commonly affects joints but in some individuals, other parts are also involved.
Symptoms of RA are enlisted as below:
- Joints: RA causes inflammation of synovial membrane causing pain, stiffness, tenderness, and warmth in the joints.
- Skin: RA sometimes causes Fibrinoid necrosis
- Lungs: RA affects the lungs causing lung fibrosis.
- Blood: Anemia is seen as a result of RA.
- Heart and blood vessels: Strokes, Myocardial infarction also occur in case of RA.
Loss of appetite, morning stiffness, fever, fatigue and weight loss are some of the symptoms observed in people suffering from RA.
Osteoarthritis: This is a type of joint disease which occurs from cartilage breakdown and underlying bone. Commonly involved joints are of neck, elbow, knee, and hips.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis are enlisted as below:
- Joint pain is commonly seen.
- Stiffness is more common in the morning.
- Some people experience muscle spasms also.
- Swelling and inflammation of joints.
- Range of motion is decreased
- Weakness and numbness in the arms and legs.
Gout: Gout is an inflammatory disease affecting the joints which occur due to increase in uric acid levels of the body.
Symptoms of Gout are enlisted as below:
- Redness and tenderness of joint.
- Swelling in the joints.
- Joint pain
- Deposit of crystals of uric acid called as tophi.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: This form of arthritis is seen in children and adolescents.
Symptoms of JIA are enlisted as below:
- Stiffness is the most common symptom.
- Pain in the joints.
- Flu like symptoms that persist for longer durations.
- Swelling and inflammation
- Weakness in the joints
- Deformity of the joints
- Joint damage
Septic arthritis: This is called as infectious arthritis as it occurs due to the infection in the joint. In this type, a joint is attacked by an infectious agent and results into inflammation of the joints.
Symptoms of Septic arthritis are enlisted as below:
- Joint pain
- Redness of the joint.
- Swelling of the joint
- Warmth of the joint
Still’s disease: This is an auto-inflammatory disease characterized by high fever and pain in joints. In this disease, there is an increase in the levels of iron binding proteins.
Symptoms of Still’s disease are enlisted as below:
- High fever
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph node
- Enlargement of the liver and the spleen.
- A salmon pink rash
- Increase in WBC level
- Extreme fatigue
Ankylosing spondylitis: In this type, long lasting inflammation of the joints of the spine is observed. Mainly joints of hips and shoulders are affected.
Symptoms of Ankylosing spondylitis are enlisted as below:
- Chronic pain in the back
- Stiffness of the lower back
- Chest expansion
- Weight loss
Apart from these, there are many other types of arthritis which have different types of symptoms. Generally, it is not easy to diagnose arthritis in early stages as the symptoms do not appear immediately. In some cases, the onset of symptoms is very later. The symptoms of arthritis are sometimes mistakenly understood as the symptoms of another disease. But in case any such symptoms are observed, these should not be neglected. We should get a proper diagnosis and right treatment on time. If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to future disability and can affect the quality of life as well. Early diagnosis can help to get success in long term treatments. Along with treatment self-management is a must. However, treatment plan varies according to the patient. A treatment plan should be aimed to manage the pain to maintain mobility and to prevent the future damage to joint. By taking proper medications and amending our lifestyle techniques can help us to manage these deadly symptoms of arthritis. The cruel fact is that arthritis has no cure but the symptoms can be prevented.Leave a reply →