Arthritis is a form of inflammation which affects millions of people. There are different forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis means that the joint in your body is inflamed and this can cause swelling, redness, warmth, and pain within your joint.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms generally include fatigue, joint pain, joint swelling, and stiffness especially after you have been sitting for an extended period of time or when you wake up in the morning. It is important to note that arthritis affects each person differently.
For some people, the pain and symptoms may develop quickly and for others, it may take several years. Some individuals who suffer from arthritis can go a period of time without any pain or symptoms. Then at a later time, they may experience a flare. Others may only suffer from arthritis for a short period of time and then go into remission.
Arthritis typically starts in middle age but certain types can affect children and other types can affect the elderly.
What causes arthritis?
The causes of arthritis are different depending on the type of arthritis that you have. For instance, osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is caused by degenerative disease. Whereas rheumatoid arthritis is caused by your body mounting an immune response against the lining of your joint capsule.
How does it affect the body?
The different types of arthritis affect your body differently. For instance, osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to breakdown. The cartilage acts as a shock absorber and when it thins out the two bones can rub against each other. If it affects your knees or hips it can make standing or walking very painful. In rheumatoid arthritis, the production of anti-bodies can cause deformities of the hands. Treatments
Treatment of arthritis requires a multi-disciplinary approach. This typically includes the use of physical and occupational therapy, injections, topical pain creams and oral medications. Newer medications are being developed which can help modify the course of the disease.
At Gershon Pain Specialists we use a combination of the above modalities. Occasionally surgery may be required to improve your quality of life.