Arthritis- Signs, symptoms, Investigation & Treatment
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain/arthralgia & stiffness. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common forms are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis and Gout. Arthritis is more common among adults aged 60 years or older, but it can affect any ages people, including children.
Signs and symptoms:
- Deep, aching muscle pain
- Stiffness, which may be worse in the morning, or after use
- Difficulty moving the joint & Inability to use the hand or walk
- Malaise and fatigue
- Swelling & Redness of skin
- Poor sleep
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly. It is commonly referred to as “wear and tear” of the joints. A major injury or operation on a joint may lead to osteoarthritis in that joint later in life, abnormal joint or limb development, and inherited factors cause osteoarthritis. It most often develops in adults who are in their late 40 years or older.
The most commonly affected joints are those in the:
- hands & feet
Rheumatoid arthritis(RA): RA is an autoimmune disease causes chronic inflammation of the joint & multi system is involved. Females are effects than male. In rheumatoid arthritis, most damage occurs to the joint lining and cartilage which eventually results in erosion of two opposing bones. RA often affects joints in the fingers, wrists, knees and elbows, is symmetrical (appears on both sides of the body), and can lead to a severe deformity in a few years if not treated. Previous injury, Family history & Obesity is the risk factor of disease.
This disease can present with a skin rash, fever, joint- body pain, disability, and limitations in daily activities. The outer covering (synovium) of the joint is the first place affected. You may feel pain and stiffness and have swelling in your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, jaw, and neck. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects multiple joints. Weakness and muscle wasting is commonly seen.
- Physical Examination
- X-rays-may show narrowing of the joint space between bones & other.
- Blood test- Increased ESR, anaemia, increased level of C-reactive protein & increased plasma viscosity.
- Rheumatoid factor
- Synovial fluid analysis, biopsy & arthroscopy.
Treatment: Treatment will be depending upon the condition.
- Medications- Painkillers, NSAIDs, Corticosteroids is used
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Splints or joint assistive aids
- Patient education and support
- Weight loss
- Surgery, including joint replacement etc.