Understanding Arthritis

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Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints causing severe pain to the person affected.

There are two types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis arthritis (OA) which is the most common, and happens when the cartilage connecting joints is damaged causing pain and stiffness, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of progressive disease that causes deformity and immobility is some parts of the body like fingers, wrists and feet.

This disease is common in people at the age of about 65 years, but also affects teens, children and people of middle age.
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Causes 

Arthritis is caused by many factors. If your family has a history of the disease you may be at a higher risk of developing OA. If you suffer an injury or infection on the joint area, it may prompt cartilage tissue damage. In the case of RA, the immune system attacks body tissues causing the disease.
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Symptoms 

Symptoms in RA include,
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Fatigue. 

Joint pain due to inflammation of the joints.

Joint tenderness- This is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage.

Swollen joints- Sometimes very pronounced but other times they are minimal.

Stiffness of the joint- Is mostly present in the morning, and clears later in the day.

Joint warmth – If feels like fever on the joint areas

Loss range motion on the joints

Limping-It occurs when RA affects the hip, knees, ankles and feet.

Joint deformity-When RA is not treated, the joint and bone cartilage is eroded causing permanent damage to the joint.
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Symptoms of Osteoarthritis OA include,

Pain on the joint-This is especially experienced during or after movement

Tenderness on joint area-This is because the joint lining tissue is inflamed.

Abnormal sensations on the joints.
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Loss of joint flexibility. 

Bone spurs-These are lumps that form around the joints.
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Diagnosis 

A physical examination is conducted by the doctors. During this procedure, the doctor checks for symptoms like joint redness, range of motion and warmness.
The doctor may also use joint fluids and blood to analyse the levels of inflammation, which reveals the kind of arthritis you have.
An MRI, X-ray or a CT scan is used to expose other symptoms. These tests are more reliable because they give more comprehensive results.
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Treatment 

Arthritis treatment is done to eliminate pain, prevent more damage to the joints and restore joint functionality.
A combination of medication is often given to achieve better results. There are various treatment options available for the disease.
Medication

Drugs given to treat arthritis are meant to suppress your immune system, pain management and reduce inflammation.
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Surgery 

Surgery done depends on the kind of arthritis you are suffering from. It is performed to repair the deformed joints with artificial ones.

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com
Physical Therapy 

It is used to help the bones and the joints regain strength and flexibility.
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Aesthetic clinic

Although they deal with beauty treatments, some aesthetic clinics give steroid injections to joints of arthritis patients to help reduce inflammation and heal the joints.

Aesthetic clinics also have platelet rich plasma for arthritis. PRP as it is commonly called, is a form of therapy that focuses on the natural healing abilities of the blood to repair damaged tissues and cartilages in arthritis patients.

The PRP injection is administered on the affected joint area to try to repair it.
However platelet rich plasma for arthritis is not considered a standard practice to deal with the disease, but a natural healing alternative.

 

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