October 12th each year is dedicated to creating awareness about Arthritis and is celebrated word-wide as World Arthritis Day. This year seeks to make life easier for the many millions of sufferers by recognizing that 'Small things matter for people with Arthritis' - the theme for this year's World Arthritis Day.
AdvertisementUnderstanding one of the most common diseases of the joints that affects millions of people world-wide, may well begin by tracing the origin of the word, Arthritis - 'Arth' implying joint, 'itis' implying inflammation.
There are more than 100 types of conditions categorized under Arthritis, which portrays different symptoms, demanding varied treatment approaches. Significantly, Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints characterized by pain, stiffness, and swelling. Gradually, the disease takes a toll on all the joints in the body, limiting free movement.
The objective of this year's celebration is to iron out even the minute challenges that affected individuals face each day.. This day is a wake up call for the policy makers, planners, healthcare providers who must take cognizance of key considerations for patients suffering Arthritis. This is the only way that the pain and disability due to arthritis is not a constant reminder in their life.
Triggers for Arthritis
Among the many conditions that trigger Arthritis, Gout is behind 5% of Arthritic conditions. Gout causes the victim to store crystals of uric acid in the bones and connective tissues leading to inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joints. Generally, treatment involves the usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs either consumed orally or administered as injections. Such treatments have resulted in pain reduction as well as reduced the damage to the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory arthritis is a systemic disease which affects more than 1% of the people globally. Researchers and experts worldwide are still unclear about the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis. What is known is that Rheumatoid arthritis is the body's response to an obscure antigen.
The condition is characterized by morning stiffness and inflammation of the joints. It is imperative to diagnose this condition early; with treatment and exercise, patients can effectively manage the disease without severe deformity and disability.
Fibromylagia is a very common condition detrimental to the joints. In this condition, patients complain of extreme pain in the joints. Swelling of joints does not occur in this form of Arthritis.
In India, osteoarthritis, or age-related arthritis of knee joints, is the most common form of arthritis affecting many senior citizens. The symptoms manifests as people age. Commonly, the weight bearing joints like the hips and knees take a beating. Though, it is the bane of many senior citizens, it can also affect younger people who experience unusual wear and tear of joints, suffer infections, obesity, hyperthyroidism, fracture or dislocation of a joint.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis show up as pain in the joints that increases with undue movement. Even long periods of standing or lifting weights can cause pain in this condition.
Though arthritis commonly afflicts adults, sometimes children too are not spared the travails of this disease. Medically termed as Juvenile arthritis or childhood arthritis, the condition is known to affect nearly one in 1000 below the age of sixteen, worldwide. Juvenile Arthritis is difficult to detect early, as children do not normally complain of pain. The signs to watch out for are - stiffness in joints during early morning hours followed by difficulty in movement.
Management of all forms of Arthritis is a multifaceted approach involving surgical and non surgical interventions. The physician takes a holistic view of the individual in question and chooses the 'best-combo' for treatment.
Patients are advised to spruce up nutrition amid the increased role of medication and physiotherapy in restoring quality of life to patients. With effective treatment, it is possible for patients to lead a normal life.