What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an acute or chronic inflammation of one or more joints accompanied by pain and stiffness which typically worsen with age. If you feel pain and stiffness in your body, or have trouble moving around, you might be suffering from Arthritis.
The most common signs and symptoms of Arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of Arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may include:
- Decreased range of motion
The two main types of Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, damage joints in different ways. Other types of Arthritis can be caused by uric acid crystals, infections or even an underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by normal wear and tear damage to your joint’s cartilage, the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones. Severe damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection. But with the right support, you can lead an active and healthy life.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually lead to joint destruction particularly in hands and feet.
- Family history
Some types of Arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop Arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger Arthritis.
The risk of many types of Arthritis including Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and gout increases with age.
Women are more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis than men, while most of the people who have gout are men.
- Previous joint injury
People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop Arthritis in that joint.
Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips, and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing Arthritis.
Treatments vary depending on the type of Arthritis. Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. Surgery is only advised if all other treatment methods fail to work out.
Medications used to treat Arthritis vary depending on the type of Arthritis. Commonly used Arthritis medications are analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), counter irritants, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), corticosteroids, etc.
Exercise can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints. Physical Therapy treatments can minimize the problems of Arthritis in life. At our Physical Therapy offices at New York CIty, Wall Street, Upper East Side and Astoria, we provide effective treatment plans well suiting your convenience.