Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment & Prevention

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Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints which will have an effect on one joint or a number of joints. The signs of arthritis often develop over time, but they might also seem instantly.

There are more thanTrusted Source 100 totally different types of arthritis, with totally different causes and remedy strategies.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritisTrusted Source in the United States. Other common typesTrusted Source include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
  • gout

The typical age for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is between ages 30 and 50. It can, however, have an effect on children, teenagers, and youthful adults.

Osteoarthritis (OA) generally develops after the age 50 or 60 years, but there are studies that reveal radiographic proof of OA occurring in ladies in their 40s. It also tends to be extra prevalent in individuals who’re overweight.

What are the signs of arthritis?

Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptomsTrusted Source of arthritis. Your signs could also really feel worse in the morning whenever you get out of bed or upon standing up after you’ve been resting.

Other signs of osteoarthritis include:

  • limited range of movement that sometimes goes away after motion
  • clicking or popping with bending
  • muscle weak point across the joint
  • instability or buckling of the joint
  • bony growths in the fingers
  • grating or scraping feeling in the knees

Other signs of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • morning stiffness that may final half-hour or extra
  • more than one affected joint
  • onset in smaller joints like ft and fingers
  • same joints on each side of the body are affected
  • fatigue
  • low-grade fever
  • inflammation of the eyes and mouth
  • inflammation of the heart muscle and blood vessels
  • low red blood cell depend

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis could also be caused byTrusted Source:

  • put on and tear of a joint from overuse
  • age (OA is most common in adults over age 50)
  • accidents
  • weight problems
  • autoimmune disorders
  • genes or household historical past
  • muscle weak point


Normal put on and tear causes OA, one of essentially the most common types of arthritis. An an infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this pure breakdown of cartilage tissue.

Cartilage is a firm but versatile connective tissue in your joints. It protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created whenever you move and put stress on them. A reduction in the conventional amount of this cartilage tissue causes some types of arthritis.

Your risk of developing OA mayTrusted Source also be larger when you have a household historical past of the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Another common type of arthritis, RA, is an autoimmune disorder. It happens when your body’s immune system assaults the tissues of the body, ensuing in inflammation to joints in addition to different body organs.

In the joints, this inflammatory response affects the synovium, a comfortable tissue in your joints that produces a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints, finally destroying each bone and cartilage contained in the joint.

The precise cause of the immune system’s attacks is unknown. But scientists have found genetic markers that increase your risk of developing RA fivefold.

How is arthritis identified?

Seeing your main care doctor is a good first step should you’re not sure who to see for an arthritis prognosis. They will perform a physical examination to test for fluid across the joints, heat or red joints, and doc the range of movement in the joints. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist if wanted.

If you’re experiencing extreme signs, you might select to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist first. This could result in a quicker prognosis and remedy.

Documenting inflammation levels in your blood and aspirating and analyzing joint fluids, if current, may help your doctor decide what variety of arthritis you’ve gotten.

Blood exams that test for particular types of antibodies like anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), rheumatoid factor (RF) and antinuclear antibody (ANA) are also common diagnostic exams.

Doctors generally use imaging scans such as X-rayMRI, and CT scans to supply an picture of your bones and cartilage. This helps them rule out different causes of your signs, such as bone spurs.

How is arthritis handled?

The major purpose of remedy is to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing and prevent further damage to the joints. You’ll study what works best for you in terms of managing pain.

In common, remedy for arthritis involvesTrusted Source a mixture of:

Improving your joint operate is also important. Your doctor could prescribe a mixture of remedy strategies to achieve the best results.


A number of totally different types of medication deal with arthritis:

  • Analgesics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), are efficient for pain management, but don’t assist lower inflammation.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates, assist handle pain and inflammation. Salicylates can thin the blood, in order that they should not be used with further blood thinning medications.
  • Menthol or capsaicin lotions. These creams block the transmission of pain alerts out of your joints.
  • Steroids, like prednisone, assist reduce inflammation but should be used cautiously and for transient periods of time.
  • Immunosuppressants and biologics. Immunosuppressants and biologics are prescribed for reasonable to extreme inflammatory arthritis like RA.

If you’ve gotten RA, your doctor could recommend corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which suppress your immune system.

DMARDs and biologics are being prescribed earlier in the course of RA. Methotrexate is now a first-line drug for remedy.


While clinical evidence and safety dataTrusted Source are missing for a lot of herbs and supplements marketed for arthritis, there are a couple of supplements which may be helpful. For instance, avocado and soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) could assist OA signs. Fish oil and turmeric supplements may help reduce inflammation in RA.

However, you should speak together with your doctor before taking any supplements for arthritis to ensure they’re secure for you and won’t work together with any medications you’re at the moment taking.


Surgery to exchange your joint with an artificial one could also be an choice. This type of surgical procedure is mostly carried out to exchange hips and knees.

If your arthritis is most extreme in your fingers or wrists, your doctor could carry out joint fusion. In this process, the ends of your bones are fused, eliminating the joint and due to this fact eliminating the positioning of inflammation.

Physical remedy

Physical remedy involving exercises that assist strengthen the muscles across the affected joint is a core part of arthritis remedy.

Outside of your appointments, your physical therapist will probably recommend a plan of care that includes each day motion together with exercises you’ll be able to full by yourself at home. Collectively, these may help construct power, flexibility, and balance to improve mobility while also stopping falls.

What lifestyle changes may help people with arthritis?

Losing any excess weight and maintaining a reasonable weight reduces the riskTrusted Source of developing OA and can reduce signs if you have already got the condition.

Eating a nutrient-dense diet is important for weight loss. Choosing a diet with tons of antioxidants, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, may help reduce inflammation. Other inflammation-reducing foods include fish and nuts.

Foods that should be limited or prevented when you have arthritis include:

  • fried foods
  • processed foods
  • dairy products
  • a high intake of meat

Some researchTrusted Source also means that gluten antibodies could also be current in people with RA. A gluten-free diet could improve signs and disease development. A 2015 studyTrusted Source also recommends a gluten-free diet for all people who obtain a prognosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

Regular exercise can keep your joints versatile. Swimming is commonly a good type of exercise for people with arthritis as a result of it doesn’t put pressure in your joints the way running and walking do. Staying active is important, but listening to your body when it’s signally resting and avoiding overexerting your self are simply as important.

At-home exercises you’ll be able to try include:


When left untreated, signs of arthritis could worsen and have an effect on your day-to-day life. Below are some of the possible problems related to this condition:

  • Reduced mobility. As arthritis progresses, you might expertise much less comfy motion. This can intervene together with your each day routine and could keep you out of your favourite actions in addition to socializing.
  • Possible weight gain. This is attributed to decreased actions, in addition to discomfort that keeps you from exercising.
  • Increased risk of metabolic disorders. Being overweight with an inflammatory condition like arthritis could increase your chances of developing type 2 diabeteshigh blood pressurehigh cholesterol, and heart disease.
  • Inflammation in different areas of your body. If your arthritis is attributed to an autoimmune disease like with RA, the inflammation can spread and affect your skin, eyes, blood vessels, and lungs.
  • Risk of falls. According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with OA usually tend to expertise falls and possible fractures. This is primarily brought on by related muscle weak point, but dizziness from pain medications can also result in falls.
  • Decreased skill to work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 60 percent Trusted Sourceof people with arthritis are working age. Arthritis could have an effect on your skill to move round in the office and even get out of your mode of transportation to your job web site.
  • Effects on mental health. Arthritis could increase the risk of anxiety and depression due to ongoing pain, inflammation, and social isolation.

Risk factors

The total risk factors for arthritisTrusted Source include:

  • Obesity. Particularly related to OA, being overweight places added stress on weight-bearing joints in the body, such as your knees and hips. Losing extra weight may help reduce your risk of developing arthritis, and it could also assist if you have already got the condition.
  • Age and gender. The risk of developing arthritis will increase with age. Also, women are more likelyTrusted Source than males to develop most types of arthritis. The exception is gout, which is extra distinguished in males.
  • Overuse accidents. Repetitive stress accidents incurred during exercise, your job, or different actions could increase your risk of developing OA in the affected joint(s) later in life.
  • Your genes. A household historical past of autoimmune diseases in addition to certain inherited genes could increase your risk of RA and different related types of arthritis.
  • Smoking. Your risk of developing RA may increase if you smokeTrusted Source, and smoking can in flip make this autoimmune disease worse.

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  1. Early Warning System: Arthritis is like that friend who always arrives early to the party – it gives us a heads-up that something might be amiss in our joints before things get too wild.
  2. Built-in Thermometer: When it’s chilly outside, our joints might as well be working as weather forecasters. They let us know with a chorus of creaks and cracks that it’s time to bundle up.
  3. Extra Padding: With arthritis, our joints get a bit of extra cushioning – it’s like wearing fluffy socks all the time. Who doesn’t love a little extra comfort?
  4. Opportunity to Slow Down: Arthritis forces us to take a breather and slow down, which can be a blessing in disguise. It’s like our body’s way of saying, “Hey, maybe it’s time for a Netflix marathon.”
  5. Unique Handshake: Arthritis gives us a chance to show off our unique handshake skills. Who needs a firm grip when you can dazzle with a creative finger dance?
  6. Empathy Booster: Dealing with arthritis makes us more empathetic towards others dealing with similar issues. We become instant members of the “Joint Pain Support Group,” complete with matching sympathy nods.
  7. Creative Problem-Solving: Arthritis challenges us to get creative with everyday tasks. Who needs a can opener when you’ve got determination and a hammer?


  1. Painful Party Crasher: Arthritis barges into our lives like an uninvited guest at a party – loud, obnoxious, and determined to steal the spotlight.
  2. Stiff Competition: Dealing with arthritis feels like participating in an impromptu limbo contest – except the bar keeps getting lower, and our joints refuse to bend to the challenge.
  3. Limited Mobility: Arthritis turns simple movements into a game of Twister, except nobody’s having fun, and the mat is replaced with a minefield of discomfort.
  4. Rude Wake-Up Calls: Morning stiffness with arthritis is like waking up to a surprise pop quiz – except instead of testing our knowledge, it tests our ability to gracefully roll out of bed without yelping in pain.
  5. Inconvenient Timing: Arthritis flare-ups have impeccable timing, striking just when we least expect it – like during a dance-off or when attempting to impress a date with our graceful moves.
  6. Frustrating Fluctuations: Arthritis symptoms can be as unpredictable as a game of roulette – one day we’re feeling like a million bucks, and the next, we’re hobbling around like a broken wind-up toy.
  7. Medication Merry-Go-Round: Finding the right treatment for arthritis can feel like riding a never-ending carousel – round and round we go, trying different medications until we find one that doesn’t come with a laundry list of side effects.

What is the long-term outlook for people with arthritis?

While there’s no treatment for arthritis, the best remedy can vastly reduce your signs.

In addition to the therapies your doctor recommends, you may make a number of lifestyle changes which will also make it easier to handle your arthritis.

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