Understanding Arthritis

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease featuring a joint disorder that affects the joints and makes them tender and swollen. It is mostly seen in people over the age ...

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Arthritis is a disease featuring a joint disorder that affects the joints and makes them tender and swollen. It is mostly seen in people over the age of 65 but can also affect children, young people, and teenagers. Overall, it is more prevalent in women than in men and people suffering from obesity. The main symptoms of arthritis, painful and stiff joints, can make your life unbearable. Fortunately, treatment for Arthritis in Fort Worth is available and effective. 

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis refers to a condition of the joint that causes debilitating pain and swelling in the affected area. The pain can be severe enough to affect the quality of your life.

Osteoarthritis is considered the most common arthritis condition. It is caused by wear and tear of the cartilage of the joint due to injury, infection, or normal wear and tear that happens over time. Generally, it affects the whole joint, causing swelling of the joint lining and pain as the bone grinds on the bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis, another common type of arthritis, occurs when the joint capsule is attacked by the body’s immune system causing the lining to swell and become inflamed. With time, the joint bone and the cartilage get damaged.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The severity of your symptoms will usually depend on the level of joint damage. While the most common symptoms of arthritis are pain and stiffness, you may also experience the following:

  •         Swelling
  •         Reddening of the skin around the joint
  •         Reduced range of motion
  •         Loss of appetite
  •         Fever (rheumatoid arthritis)
  •         Anemia or deformity in the event you do not receive treatment.

Risk Factors for Arthritis

  • Family history – Arthritis has a genetic component and may run in families, making you more likely to develop the condition if your direct relatives have it.
  • Gender – Women are more prone to get rheumatoid arthritis, while most men suffer gout, which is also a type of arthritis.
  • Age – The risk of many types of arthritis increases with age.
  • Previous Joint Injury – An injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis later in life.
  • Obesity – Obese people are at a high risk of developing arthritis due to the strain their weight exerts on the hips, joints, and spinal cord.

How Is Arthritis Treated?

Basically, treatment for arthritis focuses on pain reduction and improving your quality of life. Improving your joint function is also crucial, and your doctor may prescribe you a combination of treatment options to achieve the best possible results. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Steroids
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Disease-specific medication
  • Exercises

Surgery may become an option where the hip or knee is replaced with an artificial one. Your doctor may also recommend joint fusion when your wrists and fingers are severely damaged. In some cases, physical therapy is done to improve mobility and strengthen your muscles.

Bottom line

Arthritis is a condition that can cause excruciating pain and hence make your life very difficult. In the United States, over 50 million people suffer from this debilitating condition. If you are one of these people, contact Clover Internal Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas, to schedule a consultation with the expert team dedicated to helping you manage your pain and live a productive life.

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