Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Arthritis is a condition involving joint inflammation. Patients with arthritis experience intense pain when moving, and thus this condition causes limitations to quality of life. Patients have a more positive experience and better outcomes when they are treated by trained and experienced physicians at SamWell Institute for Pain Management. The best way to control your arthritis and prevent complications is to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment early.

Understanding arthritis

The intersection where two bones meet is called a joint—a joint consists of a cartilage cushion that prevents bones from sliding on each other directly. However, risk factors promote cartilage destruction, thus causing wear and tear on bones and resulting in swelling, pain, and stiffness.

What are the main types of arthritis?

An accurate diagnosis ensures that physicians develop an ideal treatment plan that will address the specific type of arthritis a patient is experiencing. The most common types of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis that causes cartilage to wear away and bones to rub against each other, causing friction and pain. This degenerative joint disease happens mainly due to age. As you get older, your risk of developing osteoarthritis increases because your cartilage slowly disintegrates and degenerates upon repeated movements.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Although all joints in your body are susceptible to this type of arthritis, you will mostly experience symptoms in the wrists, hands, and knees. This autoimmune disease happens when patients whose overactive immune system attacks joint cartilage, causing degeneration and swelling.

  • Gout

The knee, wrist, and big toe are most vulnerable to this arthritis that develops when the body does not eliminate uric acid. Excess uric acid causes inflammation in these joints, thus leading to symptoms of reduced wellness.

What are the risk factors for arthritis?

Although physicians may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s arthritis symptoms, there are risk factors that predispose one to the condition. For example:

  • Age: This predisposition occurs due to tissue disintegration and degeneration, primarily the cartilage that ensures bone mobility.
  • Genetics: There are certain genes that children can inherit from their parents that could promote arthritis.
  • Sex: Arthritis predominantly affects women, except for gout.
  • Obesity: Being overweight predisposes your weight-bearing joints to excess pressure that might lead to the development of arthritis.
  • Injuries: Joint damage might jeopardize overall health and put a patient at risk of developing arthritis.
  • Infection: It would be best to take precautions against bacteria, viruses, and fungi that might affect and destroy the integrity of your joints.
  • Work: Patients whose professions require repeated movements can stress the joints and lead to injuries that may develop into arthritis.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Patients should understand the symptoms of arthritis to detect concerns and seek medical interventions early before complications occur. Severe tissue damage resulting from arthritis may be irreversible. Here are some signs that might indicate the need for early medical intervention for more predictable outcomes:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Redness
  • Deformity

Contact SamWell Institute for Pain Management if you notice symptoms of arthritis and begin a treatment plan to enhance joint integrity and promote movement.