As you gradually age, your joints become painful and stiffen over time. This condition is quite common as most people have experienced this. Most people attribute this condition to aging rightly so, not knowing there are effective management and treatment options. If you have arthritis in Dundalk, there are suitable options for care and treatment options. Read on to learn more about arthritis, its effects, causes, and possible management and treatment options.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the tenderness and swelling of one or more joints. It is characterized by joint stiffness and pain that gradually worsens with age. The most typical types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis causes the hard, slippery tissue covering the ends of bones that form a joint known as cartilages to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is whereby the immune system attacks the joints, starting with the joint linings.
When there is too much uric acid in your blood, uric acid crystals are formed that can cause gout. Underlying conditions or infections like lupus or psoriasis may also cause other types of arthritis. Treatments of arthritis vary depending on the type and aim to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Other types of arthritis include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Thumb arthritis
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
The signs and symptoms involve the joints and depend on the type of arthritis. These include:
- Decreased range of motion
Certain risk factors may lead to the increase in your likelihood of contracting arthritis, such as:
- Family history- Some arthritis types run in families
- Your sex- Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis while men are more likely to contract gout
- Age- The chances of contracting most types of arthritis increase with age
- Obesity- Excess pound puts a lot of strain on your joints, thus a higher risk of infection
- Previous joint injury- People who play sports and get injured in a joint are more likely to develop arthritis in that joint
Treatment of Arthritis
The treatment of arthritis aims at minimizing joint damage, controlling pain, and maintaining or improving the quality and function of life. Many medications and lifestyle strategies may help achieve this and protect joints from further damage. These include:
- Medications such as analgesics, counterirritants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, biologics, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and corticosteroids
- Weight loss
- Non-pharmacologic therapies
- Surgery including joint replacement
- Occupational or physical therapy
- Patient education and support
- Splints or joints assistive aids
A healthy balanced diet and self-management strategies such as staying physically active go a long way in preventing the contraction of arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition that almost everyone knows about. Even though there is no outright cure, your quality of life can be significantly improved by applying various treatment plans. These plans depend on the type of arthritis and the individual. Check out our website or visit or call our offices in Baltimore, MD, to book a consultation and get more information.