Arthritis is a term encompassing over 100 conditions that cause joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain. It can affect people of all ages and physical fitness including children, teenagers, and athletes with some more prominent in older people.
Types of Arthritis
There are several types, including as it is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. The most common types are:
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time. Often affecting the hands, knees, hips, and spine, OA symptoms can include pain, stiffness, and limited joint motion. Age, genetics, and joint injuries are among the factors that can contribute to its development.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s joints, causing inflammation. RA typically affects joint linings, causing painful swelling. Over prolonged periods, it can lead to joint deformity. The exact cause of RA remains unknown, but genetics and environmental factors might play a role.
- Gout: Gout is a form of inflammation characterized by sudden, intense pain in the joints, often starting in the big toe. It’s caused by the deposition of urate crystals in the joint, resulting from high levels of uric acid in the blood. Dietary choices, such as consuming foods high in purines like red meat and seafood, can contribute to its onset.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis ( JIA ): This is the most common form of arthritis in children under the age of 16. It causes pain and inflammation in one or more joints for at least six weeks. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed to be an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissues.
- Spondyloarthritis: This is a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the spine and, in some cases, the joints of the arms and legs. It also might involve the skin, intestines, and eyes. Common symptoms include lower back pain and stiffness, which often improve with exercise and aren’t relieved by rest.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This affects individuals with psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red patches with silvery scales. It causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. While it can affect any joint, it commonly affects the fingers and toes, leading to swelling in the entire digit. It can also result in nail changes and overall fatigue.
Each has unique characteristics and underlying causes.
Symptoms of Arthritis:
Arthritis affects people in different ways and each condition will have specific symptoms. However, you need to keep your eyes on the following
- Joint pain
- Stiffness (particularly, early morning stiffness)
- Inflammation (swelling)
- Weakness and loss of muscle mass
- Warm red skin over the affected joint
Others may include
- Extreme fatigue
- Scaly, itchy skin
- Weight loss etc
Management of Arthritis:
While there isn’t a cure, effective management can alleviate symptoms. Lifestyle adjustments, medication, and therapies can play crucial roles in improving quality of life.
Physiotherapy and Arthritis:
Physiotherapy is a powerful ally for the sufferers of this disease as physiotherapists are part of a multidisciplinary team that can help you manage arthritis.
They will assist by providing by working with you and your other healthcare providers to develop a tailored management plan to help you get back on your feet. The plan may include but is not limited to
- Exercise programs tailored to your needs.
- Programs that will help you build your strength, stamina, mobility, and activity levels
- Helping you find a balance between rest and activity, and manage pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Generally, they are able to access you holistically and help you access care from other professionals such as medical professionals, psychologists, occupational health therapists, and others.
What You Need To Do
In treating this condition, remaining physically active and choosing healthy lifestyle behaviors will help you stay mobile and be able to participate in activities that are meaningful to you.
At Lily Wellness Centre, we offer cutting edge Physiotherapy Services covering the following areas:
- Arthritis Management
- Stroke Rehabilitation
- Low Back Pain Management
- Gym And Weight Loss Program
- Counseling & Dietetics
- Lifestyle Modification Classes
- Ergonomic Evaluation