Symptoms of Arthritis: Arthritis means inflammation of one or more joints in the body. Joints are the anatomical tissues that facilitate mechanical movements. Therefore, they provide elasticity and serve as a union between bones, or between bones and cartilage. The main functions of the joints are to hold the bones of the skeleton together and thus facilitate the movement of the body. So, arthritis is the presence of an inflammatory process in the joints. Above all it appears on wrists, knuckles, fingers, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, etc. It generates pain, swelling and limited mobility.
Arthritis Signs (Symptoms of Arthritis)
The onset of joint inflammation and pain can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to cartilage, bones, tendons, and joint ligaments. Arthritis can occur in people of any age, sex, and ethnicity. However, it usually begins between 25-50 years of age, especially in women (whose ratio is three to one with respect to men).
Types of Arthritis (Symptoms of Arthritis)
There are over 100 forms of arthritis, and the two most common types are osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is caused in part by degeneration of joint parts such as cartilage, and worsens with age. The progressive wear and tear of the affected parts of the joint can cause an inflammatory reaction.
Artritis reumatoidea (AR)
It is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s own defenses attack the normal lining of the joints. In this type of arthritis, inflammation in the joint lining in the bones leads to damage to the joint, especially cartilage. Inflammation sustained over time, without proper medical control, can damage bones, ligaments and tendons.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, one way to distinguish it is by the type of joints affected. It usually affects the wrist and other joints of the hand, but not those closest to the nails. Other joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis can be elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. However, it rarely damages the spine. (Symptoms of Arthritis)
The involvement is usually symmetrical, for example in both hands or on both knees. It starts slowly, with initial symptoms such as mild joint pain, stiffness, and tiredness.
Morning stiffness is quite frequent, lasting for over an hour. The patient wakes up and feels joint pain after sleeping; the joints may feel warm, tender and stiff. Over time, joints can lose their range of motion and progressively deform.
Possible Causes of Arthritis
There are multiple causes for its appearance, for example, genetic predisposition, various infections and the deposition of crystals in the blood. It can occur at any age, however, the first symptoms usually appear between the ages of 35 and 45. It affects in most cases women and to a much lesser extent men.
The onset of the disease results from the sudden and simultaneous inflammation of various joints. Although it is more common that it appears gradually and almost imperceptibly at the beginning. They can be triggering physical and psychological trauma.
It is a chronic disease, which means that there is no cure. But, yes, different treatments to cope with the symptoms and slow their progress. (Symptoms of Arthritis)
See also: “There are different types of arthritis“
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Symptoms of Arthritis
- Pain, inflammation and feeling of heat in joints.
- Muscle pain and feeling tired.
- Tingling sensation in the hands.
- Rigidity in the hands and legs when waking up, which can remain for several hours at the beginning of the disease. Also, even, all day in advanced cases.
- Appearance of rheumatoid nodules (bumps under the skin) on hands, elbows and other joints.
- Weight loss, depression, fever and loss of appetite may be associated.
- Generally affects several joints symmetrically on both sides of the body.
Arthritis treatment and prevention
Given the variety of causes for rheumatic diseases, it is only possible to establish general criteria for their prevention, such as exercising regularly, maintaining a varied diet and avoiding the consumption of toxic substances. When the first symptoms appear, the advice is to consult the doctor.
Your doctor will probably perform a complete physical exam and may perform blood tests to assess the presence of inflammation to help diagnose your condition. Other tests may include X-Rays of the bones, CT, MRI, or ultrasound. Treatment will depend on the type, severity, and location of the arthritis, and could include medications, therapy, or surgery.
Early detection of the disease is essential to avoid irreversible injuries. Although it is a chronic condition, timely treatment helps avoid complications, slow its progression and guarantee a good quality of life for the patient. (Symptoms of Arthritis)
Treatment consists of pharmacological therapy that includes:
- Antirheumatic, so a differential diagnosis is necessary
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Glucocorticoids and biological drugs.
The goal is to reduce and control inflammation to lessen symptoms of pain and loss of mobility and to prevent wear and tear on the joints.
Hyaluronic acid and arthritis
There are studies that support the use of hyaluronic acid for the treatment of various pathologies of joint degeneration. For example, osteoarthritis, osteochondritis and the early stages of arthrosis. Keep in mind that this substance is part of the synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant in the joints. Above all, facilitating joint movements, without causing friction between the bones that make it up.
Studies have shown the usefulness of hyaluronic acid infiltrations. Above all, in the mild and moderate phases of the aforementioned pathologies, reducing pain and improving the functionality of the joint. In addition, studies show that the concentration of this substance in the synovial fluid increases by 13%. Therefore, the injection of the synthetic form of hyaluronic acid promotes its endogenous formation. In addition, it works by increasing the viscosity of the synovial fluid, and manages to inhibit the mediators of joint inflammation, relieving pain.
Therefore, the use of hyaluronic acid infiltrations, as pain treatment, in arthritis, gives excellent results. Especially in the joint pathologies of the shoulders, knees, elbows, wrists, ankles and fingers and toes.
The improvement in arthritis symptoms begins 24 hours after the infiltration. The effects can last for a period of 6-8 months. To then perform a new infiltration, and thus continue to control pain and inflammation. (Symptoms of Arthritis)
It may also be necessary to indicate as a complement: analgesics, muscle relaxants, anxiolytics or antidepressants.
It is also recommended to comply with hours of rest and perform certain mobility exercises. Absolute rest or sedentary life is not advisable. If necessary, reconstructive surgeries will be indicated to treat some injuries.
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