Awareness and early diagnosis is the key to tackling a progressive painful condition
New Delhi, October 12, 2017: World Arthritis Day is celebrated on the 12th of October every year, theme this year is ‘It’s in your hands, take action’. Arthritis the word means inflammation in the joints. Early diagnosis important as it ensures that people avail of treatment in a timely manner. Arthritis is a progressive musculoskeletal condition associated with pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints leading to reduced mobility. Its prevalence varies between 0.3% and 1% and is more common in women and developed countries.
Padamshree Dr. Ashok Rajgopal, Chairman, Fortis Bone & Joint Institute urges the community to care for their joints and shares some quick insights on what contributes to healthy joints:
Symptoms of Arthritis:
- Painful joints
- Swelling around the joints
- Stiffness after some inactivity
- Crackling of joints
- Decreased range of motion
Types of Arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis (wear and tear of joints)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
– is the most common type of arthritis.
– Develops when the cartilage wears away causing the bone to rub against bone
– Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age and previous injury.
– It is more common in females and with advancing age.
– The knee and hip joints are more commonly involved.
Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis belong to the spectrum of inflammatory arthritis wherein the bodies own immune system starts to destroy the cartilage of the joints. They develop at an earlier age than osteoarthritis and involve all the joints of the body.
Treatment of arthritis starts with an early and accurate diagnosis. A detailed examination by your doctor complimented with some x rays/ MRI scans and blood tests will allow your doctor to diagnose the type of arthritis.
Mild arthritis can be treated with regular exercise, physiotherapy, activity modification and the occasional pain killers. Inflammatory arthritis needs some specific medication which should be taken regularly under the supervision of your Rheumatologist so that the damage to your joints is limited and the spread to other joints controlled.
Moderate arthritis in addition to above needs regular pain medication and support for the joints. Braces or a stick to walk.
When the above treatments do not give relief then you need to consult your doctor and he may advise a joint replacement which will give you pain relief and return to pre-arthritis level of function.