Arthritis Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis And Treatment 

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Arthritis is one of the most common joint disorders found in people especially those who are in their old age or those who are approaching the same. People tend to develop this condition generally because of the natural wear and tear that happens to the joints. However, any injuries that affect any particular joint of the body can also be the cause of arthritis pain in people.

There are also some of the health conditions or infections that eventually cause arthritis in people. This article will let you understand all the important aspects of this joint condition, the pain that is associated with the same, some of the major symptoms of this disease, and the risk factors involved in it, even though it is not a deadly condition, the diagnosis methods adopted for arthritis Pain, and the most effective treatment methodologies that have been practiced. 

Arthritis Pain: Causes 

Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons for arthritis. This happens when the person ages and thus loses the cushioning between the joints that have been facilitated by the cartilage. 

Arthritis Pain Causes 

Hyperuricemia 

This is a health condition when the patient has more than a permissible amount of uric acid in their blood. This condition can also lead to pain in the joints

Immune system errors 

In some cases, the immune system of your own body may attack the healthy joints in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of such an immune system error. 

Viral arthritis 

This type of arthritis is caused by any kind of viral infection that has affected your body. Arthritis caused due to COVID-19 infection was a common condition during the pandemic times and even after that. 

Arthritis: Symptoms 

Joint pain 

This is one of the most common symptoms experienced by a majority of arthritis patients. Most of them seek medical treatment or go for consultation when they start suffering from joint pains. Joint pains can be of different types. Some may experience chronic joint pain that does not go away under any situation. Some may experience the pain only after getting involved in any sort of intense physical activity. There are also people who experience irregular or frequent joint pain. The severity of the pain may also differ from person to person. 

Stiffness 

You may also find it difficult to be as flexible as you used to be. It would be painful for you to flex your joints beyond a certain extent. 

Swelling 

Inflammated joints can also be considered a valid symptom of arthritis. If you are experiencing pain with inflammation, make sure to seek medical help as soon as possible. 

Discoloration 

People with the condition of arthritis may also have discoloration on their skin, especially in the areas of infected joints. 

Arthritis: Risk Factors 

Nicotine addiction 

If you are a regular smoker, then you are highly likely to develop the condition of arthritis. The issues such as osteoarthritis may reach you sooner than expected. 

Genetics

Genetics can also play a crucial role in determining your chances of developing an arthritis condition. 

Physical activities 

If you have been leading quite a sedentary life for a long period of time, without any significant physical movements or activities, you also have an elevated risk for arthritis. 

Health conditions 

Health conditions such as gout, autoimmune diseases, etc. can become a reason for you to develop arthritis. Obese people are also highly likely to be affected by arthritis. 

Arthritis: Diagnosis 

  1. Physical examination:
    When you first consult a doctor with pain or stiffness in the joints, the first thing they do to diagnose the condition would be a physical examination. A comparative examination of your similar joints would also be done to probe the issue. Through this, they would be able to understand the extent to which you can move your joint without stiffness. It is also important to communicate all your signs and symptoms in detail, just to if any physical movements have worsened the pain and stiffness or not. 
  2. X-ray 
  3. Ultrasound scanning
  4. CT Scan 
  5. MRI Scan 

All these are advanced methods of diagnosis for arthritis. These can help the doctors to have a detailed understanding of the condition of your joints and the severity of their wear and tear. 

Arthritis: Treatment 

Anti-inflammatory medicines 

These anti-inflammatory medicines can be bought over the counter. These types of medicines are popularly used by people across the globe for arthritis conditions. NSAIDs and acetaminophen are some of the examples 

Prescribed antin-inflammatory medicines 

Doctors are also seen prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines to those who approach them with the difficulties of arthritis Pain. Cortisone shots belong to this category. 

Antirheumatic drugs 

Antirheumatic drugs are prescribed to those patients who are suffering from the difficulties of rheumatic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. These would modify the disease and provide betterment in the symptoms. 

Physiotherapy 

In some people, physiotherapy or occupational therapy can be effective in easing the symptoms of arthritis. It is also beneficial to improve your strength. You may gradually increase the extent of motion possible with your joints with reduced stiffness. 

Surgery 

If you are not having any significant improvement even after getting treated with all the non-surgical treatment methods, the doctors may advise a surgical intervention. Entire joint replacement surgeries are also considered in certain situations. 

Conclusion

These are all you need to know about the condition of arthritis. Having a comprehensive knowledge of the symptoms and signs would help you seek professional help without making a deal. Earlier treatment would also help you ease the symptoms significantly without the need for a surgical intervention. Apart from that, it is also important that you analyze the risk factors in detail and understand your risk percentage in an approximation. If tobacco addiction and a sedentary lifestyle are spiking your risk, it is better to switch to a healthier lifestyle and thereby reduce the risk. However, it is also important to understand that this condition cannot be cured. The only thing you can do after getting affected with arthritis is take up treatments to ease the symptoms and difficulties. 

References

Ma L, Cranney A, Holroyd-Leduc JM. Acute monoarthritis: what is the cause of my patient’s painful swollen joint? CMAJ. 2009 Jan 06;180(1):59-65. [PMC free article]

Hazes JM, Luime JJ. The epidemiology of early inflammatory arthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2011 Jun 14;7(7):381-90. [PubMed]

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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