Arthritis: Facts you should know

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Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and soft tissues in a person’s body. Arthritis facts indicate that under the single term arthritis, there are about 120 different diseases covered. The three most prevalent forms of the disease, however, are fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. As a common affliction, it is important to be aware of the arthritis facts to combat the disease. 

Fibromyalgia affects the tissues that support the bones and help in their movement. It causes widespread pain in the body, and localized tender spots in muscles and tendons. The most severely affected parts are the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. The common symptoms for fibromyalgia are tiredness, lack of concentration and disturbed sleep patterns. 

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints. It is an inflammatory illness that causes the body’s immune system to target its own tissue. Prolonged inflammation of the joint causes loss of function of deformity of the joint. The common symptoms of this illness are fatigue, fever and an ill feeling. 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the bones. It causes the destruction of cartilage at the ends of the bones, causing more wear and tear of the bones, and subsequent destruction. Arthritis facts often associate this disease with women mostly, but it can affect men as well. 

Other arthritic diseases are carpal tunnel syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, gout and ankylosing spondylitis. Arthritis facts are not very well known to people, which make it difficult for people to understand their condition. It is important that the following arthritis facts be known, so as to combat the debilitating effect of arthritis. 

Symptoms of arthritis

The most common and noticeable symptoms of arthritis are pain, swelling of the joints or restricted mobility in joints. There are other unexplained symptoms which one may not associate with arthritis right away. Arthritis facts often do not correspond with such symptoms as fever, fatigue, and weight loss. In some kinds of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, joints can become red, warm, swollen and painful. 

People at risk

Arthritis can affect people in any age group, including children, who may be diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. However, there are some people, who are at a higher risk than others. 

Men and women who are over the age of 45 are prone to arthritis. Women who are above the age of 15 are also susceptible to arthritis. Arthritis facts often make note of studies which show that people with a family history of arthritis are more likely to develop the disease than those who have no history of the disease. These factors are called non-modifiable risk factors as they cannot be prevented or changed. 

There are other factors that can be controlled or prevented through a controlled regimen in a person’s lifestyle. These include obesity, past injuries, and lifestyles which involve continual strain on the joints. 

Arthritis Diagnosis

Arthritis is diagnosed based on a study of the patient’s symptoms, family history, medical records, physical tests and x-rays. Arthritis facts, if known to the patient, will ensure that he requests a medical check-up before the disease affects him or her severely. 

Arthritis Management

Though arthritis facts often project it as a debilitating disease, proper management combined with physiotherapy can help afflicted people live healthy and independent lives. Exercise is of primary importance followed by sessions with rheumatologist or an arthritis specialist in cases of arthritis that require specialized drug therapy. Patients should keep themselves updated with information about arthritis; facts about the disease will help them to deal with their condition better..  

Also, patients should take care to not over-exert their joints to prevent fatigue and wear and tear of already abused joints. If necessary, assistive devices should be used to reduce stress on frequently used joints.  

Most importantly, early diagnosis and proper treatment are imperative to retain an independent life even after being subject to the disabling nature of arthritis. Regular check-ups and thorough investigation into any suspicious swelling of the joints must be followed. If these pointers are followed and arthritis facts are kept in mind, then there is no reason that arthritis should end a person’s active lifestyle

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