There are two types of Arthritis - Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
OA is the most common arthritis and is also called as synovial arthritis. OA is an old age defect, mostly seen in 50+ people, which is caused by inflammation of the knee cartilage. Eventually the cartilage breaks and the knee joint bones start rubbing with each other. This results in stiffness, pain and non-functioning of the joint. Young patients who are diagnosed with OA are usually the ones who have suffered a knee injury or have gotten it due to some pathological reason.
Symptoms of OA
Pain in and around the knee joint, stiffness in the mornings, swelling of the joint, inconsistent pain during nights, problem during long walks or even in short distance walking, problem in standing for prolonged periods.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an autoimmune disease that can cause chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. It can affect people of all ages. It is a chronic disease characterized by periods of disease flares and remissions. In rheumatoid arthritis, multiple joints are usually, but not always, affected in a symmetrical pattern. Chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. Damage to joints can occur early and does not always correlate with the severity of RA symptoms.
The ‘rheumatoid factor’ is an antibody that can be found in the blood of 80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Early RA treatment results in better outcomes.
Symptoms of RA
RA symptoms and signs include fatigue, joint pain, swollen joints, fever, loss of joint function, as well as joint stiffness, redness, warmth, tenderness, and deformity.
Care at various stages of Arthritis:
The treatment of arthritis optimally involves a combination of the following factors:
- Patient education:
One must consult an orthopedic doctor as early as possible once any discomfort or pain in the joint is felt.
- Rest and exercise:
Resting allows the body to self-heal. This lowers the need for a surgery. Exercising under the guidance of a physiotherapist also helps relieve the pain faster.
- Weight loss:
People with a heavy built must lose weight as early as possible to reduce pressure on the joint. Weight reduction allows the joint to function smoothly.
Medicines such as Non-steroid-anti-inflammatory-drug (NSAID), immunosuppressants, steroids are prescribed for pain relief.
In severe cases, surgery is required to provide permanent relief.