What is arthritis?
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The symptoms of arthritis usually begin over time, but they may also appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also occur in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women than men and in people who are overweight.
Symptoms of arthritis
Generally, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Your range of motion may also decrease, and you may experience redness of the skin around the joint. Many people with arthritis see their symptoms are worse in the morning.
In the case of RA, you may feel fatigued or experience a loss of appetite due to the inflammation the immune system’s activity causes. You may also become anemic — meaning your red blood cell count decreases — or have a slight fever. Severe RA can cause joint deformity if left untreated.
Cause of arthritis
Cartilage is a firm but flexible connective tissue in your joints. It protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created when you move and put stress on them. Such as a reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage tissue causes some forms of arthritis.
Normal wear and tear cause OA, one of the most common forms of arthritis. For the most part, infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. Your risk of developing OA may be higher if you have a family history of the disease.
Another common form of arthritis, RA, is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body. Therefore these attacks affect the synovium, a soft tissue in your joints that produces a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints.
Accordingly, RA is a disease of the synovium that will invade and destroy a joint. It can eventually lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint.
For the most part, the exact cause of the immune system’s attacks is unknown. But scientists have discovered genetic markers that increase your risk of developing RA fivefold.
Diagnosis of arthritis
Generally, seeing your primary care physician is a good first step if you’re unsure who to see for an arthritis diagnosis. Such as they will perform a physical exam to check for fluid around the joints, warm or red joints, and a limited range of motion in the joints. Also, your doctor can refer you to a specialist if needed.
Such as if you’re experiencing severe symptoms, you may choose to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist first. In addition, this may lead to a faster diagnosis and treatment.
For the most part, extracting and analyzing inflammation levels in your blood and joint fluids can help your doctor determine what kind of arthritis you have. Blood tests that check for specific types of antibodies like anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), RE (rheumatoid factor), and ANA (antinuclear antibody) are also common diagnostic tests.
Doctors commonly use imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scans to produce an image of your bones and cartilage. This is so they can rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as bone spurs.
Treatment of arthritis
Generally, the main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. Also, you’ll learn what works best for you in terms of controlling pain. In addition, some people find heating pads and ice packs to be soothing. Together with others use mobility assistance devices, like canes or walkers, to help take the pressure off sore joints.
Improving your joint function is also important. Such as your doctor may prescribe you a combination of treatment methods to achieve the best results.
A number of different types of medication treat arthritis:
- Analgesics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), are effective for pain management but don’t help decrease inflammation.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates, help control pain and inflammation. Salicylates can thin the blood, so they should be used very cautiously with additional blood-thinning medications.
- Menthol or capsaicin creams block the transmission of pain signals from your joints.
- Immunosuppressants like prednisone or cortisone help reduce inflammation.
If you have RA, your doctor may put you on corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which suppress your immune system. There are also a variety of many medications to treat OA available over the counter or by prescription.
Surgery to replace your joint with an artificial one may be an option. This form of surgery is most commonly performed to replace hips and knees.
If your arthritis is most severe in your finger or wrists, your doctor may perform a joint fusion. In this procedure, the ends of your bones are locked together until they heal and become one.
Physical therapy involving exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the affected joint is a core component of arthritis treatment.
Know-how changes in lifestyle can help people with arthritis?
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight reduce the risk of developing OA and can reduce symptoms if you already have it.
Eating a healthy diet is important for weight loss. Choosing a diet with lots of antioxidants, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, can help reduce inflammation. Other inflammation-reducing foods include fish and nuts.
Foods to minimize or avoid if you have arthritis include fried foods, processed foods, dairy products, and high intakes of meat.
Some research also suggests that gluten antibodies may be present in people with RA. A gluten-free diet may improve symptoms and disease progression. A study also recommends a gluten-free diet for all people who receive a diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease.
Regular exercise will keep your joints flexible. Swimming is often a good form of exercise for people with arthritis because it doesn’t put pressure on your joints the way running and walking do. Staying active is important, but you should also be sure to rest when you need to and avoid overexerting yourself.
At-home exercises you can try include:
- the head tilt, neck rotation, and other exercises to relieve pain in your neck
- finger bends and thumb bend to ease pain in your hands
- leg raises, hamstring stretches, and other easy exercises for knee arthritis.
Home remedies for Arthritis
Turmeric and Caustic lime paste
Generally, to reduce the pain turmeric and lime are more beneficial. Mix turmeric and lime in mustard oil and heat it for a while, then applying this paste to the affected. This treatment reduces the pain.
Turmeric Milk Beneficial for Pain
For the most part, mixing one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and drinking at least twice in the morning and evening provides relief in pain. In short, it is the most effective home remedy to relieve joint pain. This is a natural treatment for pain.
Also, ginger is helpful in relieving pain. Due to its warm nature, it is beneficial in cold pain. In brief, consuming ginger is beneficial in respiratory problems, cramps, and swelling.
In arthritis pain, joint pain, arthritis, bruising, swelling, wounds, and skin problems, aloe vera has benefited by tying the pulp with turmeric and heating it lightly. You can try this home remedy for pain in any region.
Generally, massage is beneficial in any type of pain. Likewise, mustard oil is very useful in physical pain, knee pain, cold pain. As a result of massaging in the pain area with mustard oil regularly relieves the pain quickly.
To begin with, clove is very useful in the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, teeth, and gums, knee pain, and swelling, etc. So then, keep a cotton swab in clove powder or clove oil in a painful place.
Ashwagandha and Ginger Powder
Together with Ashwagandha and Ginger Powder are beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis. For this, take 40 grams Nagauri Ashwagandha powder, 20 grams dry ginger powder, and 40 grams (Khand ) Khand is a raw unrefined natural sweetener in powder form which contains all useful minerals that your body needs. Therefore, mix all three ingredients well. Consume this powder with 3 to 3 grams of this powder together with hot milk in the morning and evening provides great relief in all types of pain, joint pain, and swelling. This recipe is quite popular as a home remedy for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Many people use it as an Ayurvedic medicine for any type of pain.
Fennel Seed or Fenugreek seeds
Use of fenugreek to relieve the pain of arthritis. Fenugreek seeds affect the joints as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. For this, take half to one teaspoon powder of fenugreek seeds with lukewarm water after eating in the morning and evening. It provides relief from any pain.
In Ayurveda, there are many benefits of massaging with oil made from herbs, it lubricates joints, removes stiffness, relieves pain, and swelling. For this, put 250 grams of mustard oil in a pan and keep it on the gas for heating. Peel 8-10 cloves of garlic in it. One teaspoon of parsley in hot oil, add fenugreek seeds, dry ginger powder as well. When all the spices are cooked remove them from the gas and let them cool. When it cools down, put it in a glass bottle. In winter, massage with this oil in the lukewarm sun in the morning or any joint pain.
Generally, the best source of vitamin-D is sun-generated sunlight, which gives you natural vitamin-D which is more beneficial for bone. Therefore, arthritis patients should regularly walk in the sun for sometime in the morning.
Exercising regularly is the most effective treatment for arthritis or any type of pain. Exercise with the opinion of a physiotherapist or do regular yoga by learning from a yoga teacher.
What is the long-term vision for people with arthritis?
While there’s no cure for arthritis, the right treatment can greatly reduce your symptoms.
In addition to the treatments your doctor recommends, you can make a number of lifestyle changes that may help you manage your arthritis.
As with any treatment you’re considering, consult with your doctor before following any medication — natural or otherwise.