Arthritis is joint inflammation, but over the years it has also gained other meanings. Today it is a broad umbrella name for over 100 rheumatic conditions and diseases that can affect tissues around joints, the joints themselves and other connecting tissues. There are lots of frequent questions about arthritis; here are the answers to the most frequent ones.
Who is in the high risk categories for arthritis?
There are several factors that can lead to a greater risk of contracting arthritis. These include: age, gender (most commonly found in women), carrying extra weight, joint injuries, occupation, infections and genes.
How does a doctor diagnosis arthritis?
There are a few tests that are needed. Often times, your doctor will require a full medical history, which must include a list of all past and present medical conditions, a physical checkup, blood tests and x-rays. A thorough medical examination is needed because you may have more than a single type of arthritis concurrently.
What things can cause arthritis?
Sometimes it can be difficult to know the exact cause of arthritis. However, scientists are analyzing various factors including lifestyle, genes and environment, because they believe that these are among the biggest arthritis triggers.
What types of arthritis are the most common?
In the United States, osteoarthritis is at the top of the leaderboard. Gout has gotten the second place, fibromyalgia is in the third place and rheumatoid arthritis is in fourth position.
What are the typical symptoms of arthritis?
Symptoms of arthritis may include: pain of varying intensities in or surrounding your joints. You may also feel a degree of swelling and/or stiffness that lingers. This disease may hit you with no warning or it can develop over time. It is usually a chronic disease that will persist; the degree to which is will affect your life will vary depending on the weather, your specific medical conditions, your lifestyle and other factors.
What should you do if you think you have this disease?
If you see and/or feel any symptoms of arthritis, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Since there are lots of variations of the disease, the right diagnosis is crucial in determining the right treatment. The faster you acknowledge and get help for arthritis, the faster you will be able to treat it, and perhaps even reverse it.
Is there anything that you can do to prevent arthritis?
Maintaining a healthy body weight is very important. Carrying extra weight will only put additional stress on your body unnecessarily.
How do doctors treat arthritis?
The main goals are to minimize damage to the joints, manage pain, fight inflammation and improve your quality of life. Treatment may include: weight loss programs, joint assistive aids or splints, medication, occupational or physical therapy, weight loss surgery, patient support and education, and more.