Arthritis Signs and Effective Treatment

Arthritis is a disease that causes minor or severe inflammation of the joints. It is associated with over 100 rheumatic conditions and disorders that cause stiffness, pain, swelling and restricted mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the many and more serious forms, results from a deficiency of the immune systems that can affect any age and progresses to a more severe condition if not treated early. According to the Arthritis Foundation, nearly 300,000 children and 46 million adults in the United States suffer from arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also claims that 124 billion dollars is lost in production, wages and medical expenses yearly in the U.S. Osteoarthritis, the most frequently occurring type of arthritis, generally affects persons over the age of 60, while sometimes it begins in early career life, child-bearing years or in infants. Since it primarily affects the elderly, it accounts for the most cases of disability, oftentimes leading to severe crippling.


Symptoms and Onset

Arthritis congregates in the musculature system where any two bones meet to from a joint, socket or hinge. A thin film of cartilage tissue between the bones needs to lubricate and afford movement in the joint. When the cartilage breaks down it causes direct bone to bone contact. The abrasive contact causes, pain, swelling and restricted mobility. Joints, such as finger or knuckle bones, elbows, knees, necks and hips can be affected, hampering walking, arm raising and grasping. Joints will appear unusually enlarged or deformed and can be painful to the touch. The hips and shoulders are subject to persistent aches that can linger for hours or days. Children and infants can show signs of limited mobility associated with pain, at times of simple and ordinary movement. Advanced cases break down the immune system to such a degree that major organs and systems begin to show signs of failure, including the kidneys, heart, lungs, skin and circulatory system.

Treatment and Therapy

Early discovery and action offers the most positive arthritis treatment results since there is no real cure for this progressive disease. A medical practitioner who specializes in the disease offers the best course of action if arthritis is suspected. A doctor can provide medication that slows or modifies permanent damage to the bones and muscles. The antirhematic drug DMARD is one such drug that comes in biologic and non-biologic types; it aids and improves the immune system. Anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids help to reduce swelling and pain as well as slowing the progression of the disease.

Physical therapy is an aid to keep the body moving. Body movement and exercise promotes improvement in joints, muscles, bones and marrow growth. Regular and increased mobility improves skin and muscle tone, bone strength and general fitness. A well balanced diet that includes daily requirements of iron, vitamin C and D keeps the joints lubricated as well as aid the immune system to fight infection. Foods rich with Omega 3, like fish, help to combat arthritis symptoms by supplying an extra cartilage lubricant. Restricting alcohol, tea and coffee helps to reduce aggravated inflammation. Walking and swimming, two low-impact exercises, offer good results to enhance mobility.