Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints of the body. It can affect people of all ages, from children to seniors, and can be both chronic and acute. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Thus, Osteoarthritis typically affects the joint surfaces between bones, while rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the lining tissue of a joint.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Arthritis
In order to diagnose arthritis accurately, your doctor will likely perform physical examinations as well as imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Your doctor may also take blood samples to look for antibodies associated with certain types of arthritis.
Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor will likely recommend treatments to alleviate symptoms and slow the condition's progression. These may include medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, lifestyle modifications, physical therapy or occupational therapy, or surgery. So, it is important to work with your doctor to develop an individual treatment plan that meets your needs and goals.
Physical Therapy for Arthritis
Physical therapy can be an effective way to manage pain associated with arthritis while maintaining joint function and mobility. Therapeutic exercises can help increase strength and range of motion while reducing stiffness in affected joints. In addition, physical therapists can provide guidance on proper posture and movement patterns to reduce stress and strain on the joint.
Physical therapists can also recommend assistive devices such as braces, orthotics, and other adaptive equipment to help with mobility issues and decrease the stress of everyday activities. They may also teach you breathing or relaxation techniques to reduce pain and relax muscles.
What Causes Arthritis?
There is no single known cause of arthritis, and the cause can vary depending on the type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is often caused by wear and tear of the joint surfaces over time. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation and pain.
Other common causes of arthritis include:
- Age-related degeneration
- Joint injuries or trauma
Apart from that, certain illnesses, such as diabetes or lupus. Certain lifestyle factors may increase your risk of developing some types of arthritis as well - these include smoking or having a sedentary lifestyle with limited physical activity.
The Final Word
Arthritis is a common condition that affects people from all walks of life. With the right support, it is possible to find relief from symptoms of arthritis so you can continue participating in the activities you enjoy.