Arthritis

arthritis patient

Last Updated February 20th, 2019

Overview of arthritis

Every other person we daily come across is affected by some or the other form of ailment, which may vary from temporary to a more chronic type.But the past decade has witnessed a steady rise in the count of patients suffering from “arthritis”. This is the most severe and insidious form of a disease that cripples a person both physically and mentally, draining the basic ingredients of “healthy living” off the patient’s body.

The conventional notion about arthritis associates it with senility (old age). But recent findings clearly reveal that teens and even small children can be equally victimized by this pathological disorder. About 3,00,000 children have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in the past year. Coming to adults, women face these problems more often (26%) than men (21%).

 

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a pathological condition of acute inflammation of joints along with muscular stiffness. It is usually accompanied by severe joint pain and swelling of joints. It accounts for a large percentage of all diseases that impacts the very existence of a person.

 

What are the main causes of arthritis?

arthritis treatmentArthritic pain may occur in any part of the body like knee joints, ankle, wrists, fingers, neck and shoulder joints. Following are the primary causes of arthritis:

  • Abnormal degradation of the synovial fluid present in knee joints, that leads to increased friction between cartilages and subsequent swelling
  • Excessive corrosion of cartilage tissue (acts as a buffer against external pressure and shock) results in reduced protection against external agents
  • Infection and inflammation, causing subsequent degradation of cartilage tissues (due to harmful chemicals released at the site of injury)
  • Degradation of synovium tissue due to attack by the immune system of the body (auto-immune attack), leading to inadequate lubrication
  • Environmental factors like prior injury, serious infection, smoking and over-exhaustive physical activities
  • Genetic factors like parental history
  • Certain inflammation-evoking food ingredients like artificial fats, processed meat, refined carbohydrates, alcohol

What are the main signs and symptoms?

Arthritic symptoms are quickly noticeable and detectable but unfortunately not curable at an equal pace. The typical signs and symptoms that mark arthritis are-

  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints
  • Reddish appearance around the joint area
  • Difficulty in walking and normal joint movements
  • Touch sensitivity of joints
  • Recurrent stiffness in the morning
  • Trouble maintaining normal body postures due to pain in pivotal, hinge and gliding joints
  • Deformation of limbs at a later stage
  • Immobile and stiff joints (also called ankylosed joints) due to complete degeneration of the cartilage tissue
  • Restricted motion of different body parts due to joint swelling
  • Bulge formation (rare occurrence)
  • Fever, weakness, and loss of appetite

 

Types of arthritis

arthritis symptomsAs menacing as it might sound, arthritis manifests itself in different forms, irrespective of age group and gender. The following types are usually observed-

Rheumatic arthritis: This variant affects multiple joints simultaneously and is mainly caused due to the anomalous functioning of the immune system. Excessive inflammation of inner linings of joints occurs, resulting in joint swelling and even deformities in extreme cases. It mostly occurs in wrist joints and joints in the proximity of fingers.   

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of arthritis and occurs mainly in females approaching senility. It is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. In this case, the cartilage-bone becomes corroded and degenerates rapidly. After a certain time, the lower bone protrudes and creates visible bulges (nodules) around the joint.

In extreme cases where the bones are completely bared, friction between two bones causes excruciating ligament pain. Osteoarthritis occurs mostly in pelvic regions, hips, knees, vertebra, and limbs.     

Fibromyalgia: Occurs mainly at the tender and sensitive points causing painful and stiff muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It affects regions of neck, shoulder, back, limbs, and hips. The patients suffer from muscle pain, fatigue, morning stiffness, and headaches. Their sleep cycle is disrupted permanently. Though this is strictly not a type of arthritis per say, however, the symptoms of this condition resemble those of inflammatory arthritis.

Gout: This condition is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals (due to accumulated uric acid that fails to pass through urine) at the joint regions. The blood and tissue level uric acid concentration becomes very high and attacks regions like an elbow, bottom of big toe, knees, fingers, and wrists. It causes swollen and reddish joints that take a few days to return to normal state.                              

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Here fusion of joints occur via bones, and movement is restricted due to extreme stiffening of joints, affecting especially the sacrum and the saccharolytic joint. The inflammation gradually spreads to the vertebral joints as well, leading to extreme back pain and stiffness (especially in the morning).           

Psoriatic arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs in patients who already have a genetic disease called “Psoriasis”. The main characteristics are reddish patches, joint inflammation, and pain. Plaque formation occurs in large portions of the skin in these patients. A rare condition occurs in some of these arthritic patients. The tendons that surround the painful joints may exhibit acute inflammation. This condition is called- “enthesitis”.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This is yet another variation of arthritis with inflammation, where the immune system of the body malfunctions and begins to attack the joints (auto-immune attack). Lupus is observed mainly in young women. It attacks healthy cells and tissues of joints, lungs, kidneys, brain and blood vessels, followed by extreme swelling and recurrent stiffness.       

Juvenile arthritis: Arthritis in children occurs as early as the age of 15, causing inflammation of 4 or more joints, that lasts for 5-6 weeks.

 

What is the genetic connection?

arthritis causesArthritis has a strong connection with heredity.

Families having arthritic trends across generations are likely to expect arthritis in the future generations as well.

This holds true, especially for Rheumatic Arthritis. The primary genes participating in the inheritance of this trend are :

  • HLA-DRB1 gene and its variants
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 22 gene (PTPN22) closely associated with autoimmune diseases

 

Diagnosis

Doctors recommend a set of diagnostic tests for the arthritic patients. This section presents a list of the important laboratory tests-

  • Blood test (applicable mainly for rheumatoid arthritis)
  • X-rays (to detect the presence of swollen joints)
  • Digital radiography
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • Synovial fluid analysis (to detect the presence of bone fragments in the synovial space; best test for gout)

 

Treatment & Prevention

There are more than a 100 different types of arthritic conditions and the treatment and management method for each is different. There are no certain ways through which you can prevent the onset of arthritis. There is no arthritis-friendly diet per say except in case of gout, which remains largely affected by the diet of the individual. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids (non-inflammatory in nature) can help in improving the condition. Red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and fructose-containing foods worsen gout pain.  Generally, the treatment procedure for arthritis includes physiotherapy, exercises, wearing splint, painkiller drugs, home remedies, and in extreme cases, surgical intervention.

Osteoarthritis patients can observe significant improvement in their condition by maintaining a healthy weight. Smoking is a strict no-no for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Non-weight bearing exercising routines such as swimming and using hot-cold packs on the affected joints can also help alleviate the arthritic pain.

Arthritis is a matter of grave concern in every country since it devastates adults and children equally. Even the strongest medications prove to be futile if a critical stage is reached. Doctors recommend physiotherapy as a precautionary measure for people who have arthritis running in their families. Awareness related to arthritis needs to be spread sincerely so that every other person prone to arthritis can take measures in time and save the world from the wrath of the disease.

 

Arthritis infographic

 

Facts

  • There is not just one single type of arthritis; there are more than 100 different types of arthritis that can affect human body such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis etc.
  • A diet high in Omega 6 fatty acids will eventually lead to arthritis flare-ups. Omega 3 fatty acids control bodily inflammations.

Facts

  • Arthritis is more common among females than in males.
  • It is second to only cardiac issues as the leading cause of work disability. More than 50% of arthritis patients are under the age of 65.

Facts

  • Arthritis is found among children too. It is termed as juvenile arthritis and can take the form of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or lupus.
  • More than 54 million Americans are currently diagnosed with arthritis. That’s almost 1 in every 3 individuals suffering from some form of arthritis.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Display this infographic on your website

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Keep your joints moving freely and practice right posture.
  • Manage your body weight. Maintain a healthy BMI.
  • Quit tobacco consumption (smoking /chewing) as it worsens joint aches.
Don'ts
  • High impact repetitive exercises such as jogging or jumping.
  • Frequent consumption of over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Lead a highly sedentary lifestyle. Be physically active but don’t overindulge.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a natural diuretic that…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has to be obtained…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Benefits of exercise: Top reasons why you should be sweating it out more in the gym Are you leading a sedentary life and still not motivated enough to get up from your couch and…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is also involved in…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy? With Kombucha, you…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used to produce that…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
Hemp Seeds: The actual science behind this controversial crop Inspite of being credited as a superfood, hemp seeds are still shrouded with layers of controversies. Are these…
Guaranteed ways to lose weight fast and shed those extra pounds! Read more to find a guaranteed step-by-step method to lose weight permanently. Losing weight was never this easy!…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens such as extensive…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking oil, coconut oil…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This is the main…
Cranberry: Top reasons why you should grow this “superfruit” in your own backyard Cranberry is a favorite among foodies and health enthusiasts alike. Read more on how it can benefit your…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Burpees: World’s most challenging fitness routine now made simple for you The majority of the fitness regimens mainly concentrate on a particular muscle group whereas Burpees is s whole…
Aromatherapy: Can this sense-stimulating therapy help you? Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment method with several benefits, and not just for humans but pets as well.…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do antibiotics fail against…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells in the bone marrow.…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility. But how is…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
Anticholinergics: The diverse range of diseases a single drug can easily treat What started as a novel treatment for Parkinson' disease has now become an all-encompassing drug. What all can…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well. What you must…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But did you know…
glutamine workout
Glutamine: Why is this the right choice for muscle-gain supplement? Glutamine can help you gain muscles and build higher immunity. Read more to find out how you can…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
calorie counter
Calorie Counter: Count your calories before they flab Is calorie counting good? Are calories always bad for you? How do you if you are getting enough…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is essential in producing…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance everything based on…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who developed this intensive…
Burn those years of stubborn fat-deposits with a few minutes of HIIT! HIIT or high-intensity interval training seems to be the right type of fitness training that is required where…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more about this popular…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…