Full Arthritis Guideline – Useful Information You Need To Know
Pain during movement can be caused by a huge number of diseases. The cause may be trauma, nerve diseases, tumors, congenital anomalies. A frequent culprit of pain in adults is arthritis — inflammation of the joints.
What is defined as arthritis?
Arthritis refers to a whole group of diseases in which inflammation spreads to all parts of the joint. The disease can occur in one joint or in several, with acute pain or in a chronic form, as well as provoke tissue destruction.
The disease has two classifications.
- monoarthritis — inflammation occurs only in one joint;
- polyarthritis covers several joints at once (the same on both sides or random in different body parts).
By the flow of the disease:
- Acute — begins suddenly and is accompanied by severe pain;
- Chronic — develops rather slowly, may manifest itself after an acute form with insufficient treatment.
There is also an international rheumatological classification, which identifies the following types of arthritis:
- infectious — the development of the disease starts after infection;
- dystrophic — caused by the destruction of joints and bones;
- traumatic — after mechanical damage to the joint;
- associated with other diseases of the body — can be caused by tumors, diseases of the digestive tract and others.
Symptoms of arthritis. How to distinguish one type from another?
Despite the various manifestations, some symptoms of arthritis always manifest themselves. Regardless of what caused the disease, the patient finds the following in himself:
- swelling and swelling near the affected joint;
- redness of the skin and temperature increase;
- restriction of movements in the joint, accompanied by crepitus and pain.
In addition, there are symptoms with which you can distinguish types of arthritis from each other. They depend on the cause and nature of the flow:
- deformity of the diseased joints begins with chronic arthritis;
- infectious arthritis is accompanied by fever, chills, weakness and headache;
- dystrophic arthritis develops slowly, joint pain gradually increases. It can spread not only to the limbs, but also to the spine;
- traumatic arthritis is similar in symptoms to dystrophic arthritis, but its development is preceded by a serious injury or a constant load on the joint;
- with arthritis caused by allergies, tumors, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, all the symptoms that caused the disease will be observed.
If, in addition to these symptoms, there are ruptures of muscles and tendons, as well as numbness of the extremities, the disease is started, complications have begun that require immediate treatment.
Causes of arthritis
Some causes of arthritis lie in the wrong lifestyle:
- insufficient amount of nutrients and vitamins;
- unbalanced diet;
- alcohol consumption;
- stress on joints.
Others are more severe. They are unlikely to be avoided by conventional prevention:
- bacterial, fungal, viral infections;
- constant interaction with allergens;
- joint injuries;
- diseases of the nervous and immune system;
- metabolic disorders;
- endocrine gland pathologies;
- hereditary predisposition;
- some diseases: gout, gonorrhea, tuberculosis.
Women suffer from arthritis more often than men. Constant stress, past diseases and surgical interventions often provoke the first attacks of arthritis. Also, the risk of getting sick increases with age.
Symptoms depending on the stage
The progression of arthritis has 4 degrees, each of which is characterized by its own symptoms and joint damage:
- Stage I. There may rarely be some stiffness and discomfort. As a rule, it is diagnosed randomly with the help of ultrasound- compaction and thickening of the periarticular soft tissues, inflammatory fluid in the joint (synovitis).
- Stage II. The inflammation progresses, the joint shell becomes thinner, painful friction occurs between the head of the bone and the articular cavity. There is swelling, redness in the affected area and a local increase in temperature. During radiography, there is a narrowing of the articular gap, an increase in periarticular osteoporosis.
- Stage III. The joint is significantly deformed, the motor function is limited, the muscles compensate for the impaired functionality, therefore they are in constant tone, which is the cause of frequent seizures.
- Stage IV. The destruction of the joint becomes irreversible. The heads of the bones are fused, defective bone formations are formed at the site of the lesion – contractures, ankylosis. The pain becomes excruciating, the patient is bedridden.
Every year the number of children diagnosed with arthritis is steadily growing. In pediatrics, 7-16 cases are recorded for every 100 people. At the same time, there are 3 times more sick girls than boys. The reasons for the rapid growth and occurrence of arthritis in childhood are in the process of being studied. Most rheumatologists agree on only one factor – immune disorders, during which the defense system begins abnormal activity against its own body.
Infections (influenza, acute respiratory viral infections, chickenpox, measles, etc.) that occur in severe form and are accompanied by a prolonged feverish state can cause complications on the joints. After 2-3 weeks, after therapeutic measures, against the background of a weakened immune system, the following signs occur:
- temperature rise;
- lethargy, drowsiness;
- swelling in the area of the affected joints;
- frequent urge to urinate.
- a general blood and urine test will show the presence of infections and the degree of inflammatory processes;
- synovial fluid analysis — it can be used to determine the presence of inflammatory and septic processes;
- arthroscopy — endoscopic insertion of a sensor into the joint cavity for visual inspection;
- Ultrasound of the joints will help determine the extent of the lesion and detect the main areas of the disease;
- an X-ray of the joint and limb will show the condition of bones and joints, reveal changes caused by arthritis;
- computed tomography of the joint is one of the best tools for assessing the condition of bones and joints;
- magnetic resonance imaging will help to examine the condition of bones and joints, as well as surrounding tissues.
- the doctor can prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs;
- in advanced cases, operations are performed to restore destroyed joints;
- physiotherapy procedures have proven themselves well: massage, ultrasound therapy, laser therapy;
- many patients are advised to do light gymnastics: it should be developed by a physical therapy doctor taking into account the course of the disease.
What does the diagnosis of arthritis include?
Arthritis manifests itself very vividly. To accurately determine the causes of the disease, the doctor may prescribe the following procedures after a visual examination:
If arthritis is accompanied by abdominal discomfort, headaches, weakness — be sure to tell your doctor about it. This may indicate a severe disease in which joint inflammation is just one of the symptoms.
How is the treatment going?
Therapy includes getting rid of the pain syndrome, eliminating the cause of the disease and restoring the diseased joint. The treatment may include:
Treatment of arthritis cannot do without lifestyle changes: pay attention to the quality of nutrition, avoid weight gain, give up alcohol and a lot of salt/salty dishes.
If you start therapy at the initial stages, the disease is easily treatable. The most important thing is to pay attention to all changes in the body in order to consult a doctor in time and prevent the development of complications.
Tags: human health, joints, pain, symptoms, treatment