Arthritis is a common condition, affecting people of all ages. The impact of arthritis can be debilitating in many people. Arthritis is often associated with inflamed joints, which are then red and swollen, reducing the range of mobility. Most people suffering from arthritis complain from the pain that often persists and reduces quality of life.
The list below describes the main types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by general wear and tear on the cartilage and damage to the protective layer covering the end of the bones. The damage to the cartilage will result tin inflammation, which in turn reduces mobility and results in painful joint movement. Unfortunately, with age, the osteoarthritis will worsen and you will experience continued reduction in mobility, increased pain in the joints and reduced quality of life.
The inflammation associated with the arthritis can cause severe pain and considerable reduction in joint movement. Current remedies include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as cortisone and other steroidal products or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products, which unfortunately come with a range of side effects. The approach behind prescribing drugs, that have side effects, for conditions such as arthritis, is the benefit versus the associated side effects. If the prescribing doctor decides that the benefit to the patient outweighs the prevailing side effects, then these drugs are prescribed.
There are a number of early signs for rheumatoid arthritis:
1- Unrelated joint swelling – Mild inflammation of the joints, without any external damage to the joints
2- Joint numbness- The inflammation of the joint may lead to joint numbness and possible tingling, similar to when an arm or a leg is asleep
3- Fever associated with joint aches and pains, not due to an infection
4- Irritation of the eyes, dry mouth, weight loss and sleeplessness, due to aching joints
5- Painful joints when stretching
6- Chest pain when breathing (pleurisy)
People who experience these signs should seek medical advice from their doctor and potentially see a specialist to get tested for diagnosis of their condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, where the overactive immune mediators are responsible for damage to the joints and the resulting condition.
Psoriatic arthritis is seen in patients suffering from psoriasis. It is possible to have psoriatic arthritis without the manifestation of severe psoriasis, however, psoriatic arthritis is usually observed after prolonged psoriasis.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and psoriatic arthritis is a further complication associated with psoriasis. The typical silvery, white flaky psoriasis skin, is often seen on knuckles and joints already suffering with arthritis. Patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis display both arthritis; swelling and inflammation of the joints and psoriasis; scaly hardened skin. Other symptoms include fatigue, pain in the lower back and tendinitis.