Arthritis does not refer to only one type of disease. It refers to different types of joint diseases and joint pain. Basically, it is the inflammation of a joint. Arthritis affects people of all ages but is more common among overweight, older women. Arthritis could be as a result of obesity, injury to the joint, family history, and age. It could be degenerative, inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic, and a person may also suffer arthritis in more than one joint.
1. Degenerative arthritis
This is the wearing away of cartilage in joints. Cartilage is responsible for preventing friction between bones in joints. But when this cartilage is absent, the bones in the joint do not have any form of cushioning, and this results in severe pain and swelling while moving the joint. Degenerative arthritis is common in obese people and older people.
2. Inflammatory arthritis
Inflammatory arthritis is a situation where the body’s immune system mistakes joint tissue for harmful bacteria, and triggers inflammation in the joint. Without fast medical attention, the joint will continue to deteriorate until it is completely useless.
3. Infectious arthritis
Infectious arthritis is as a result of bacterial or fungal infection in the joint. The presence of these bacteria and other microorganisms causes inflammation, and treatment is required to kill off these organisms.
4. Metabolic arthritis
Metabolic arthritis is triggered by the over production of uric acid in the body. An excess level of uric acid in the body forms little crystals in joints, and in other parts of the body. These tiny crystals cause pain and swelling.
5. Symptoms of arthritis
Symptoms associated with arthritis, if not treated, could get worse with time. These symptoms include severe and frequent pain, stiffness of the affected joint, swelling, and discoloration.
6. Treatment of arthritis
Treatment of arthritis should be immediate when the symptoms are observed, to prevent the symptoms from getting worse. Here are effective ways to treat arthritis:
1. Lose weight to avoid the effect of overweight on the joints
2. Place ice or hot substances on affected joints to reduce inflammation
3. Use traditional practices like acupuncture as it is believed to reduce pain from arthritis
4. Take recommended medication like painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs
7. Prevention of arthritis
Causes of arthritis, apart from family history, can be prevented by regular exercise to avoid being overweight, frequent checkups to monitor the level of uric acid in the body, and being mindful of your environment to avoid microorganisms entering the body and affecting the joints.
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